Donald Trump may be planning to order a military strike against North Korea in the hopes that it might help Republicans in mid-term elections, a report from South Korea is claiming.
Trump had reportedly been considering the idea of what was termed a “bloody nose” attack against the regime, a limited strike that would be aimed at showing the country that America would not tolerate nuclear threats in the hopes that it would blunt North Korea’s aggression.
This week, a leading South Korean newspaper revealed that Trump may have political intentions. An editorial published in Hankyoreh claimed that a top Trump official has spoken in private about how military action against North Korea might help Republicans in the crucial upcoming mid-term elections. The GOP is at serious risk of losing the House and could lose the Senate as well, which would essentially end Trump’s chances of passing any major legislation.
The report noted that Trump is under increasing pressure as the Russia investigation zeroes in on him and American voters increasingly turn against Republicans, raising the idea that he could consider drastic measures to turn the tide.
That may mean a military strike against North Korea, the report noted.
“Indeed, White House National Security Council senior director for Asian affairs Matthew Pottinger reportedly said in a recent closed-door meeting with U.S. experts on Korean Peninsula issues that a limited strike on the North might help in the midterm elections,” the report claimed.
Previous reports claimed that there was some pushback within the White House on whether to launch a limited attack against North Korea. Both The Telegraph and The Wall Street Journal reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis were trying to steer Trump away from launching an attack, noting that it would put millions of lives at risk in South Korea. The hope of a “bloody nose” attack would be that it blunts Kim Jong-Un’s aggression, but if he were to respond with nuclear weapons, it could set off a large-scale war.
NSC Asia director Matthew Pottinger told Korea experts that a limited strike on the North “might help in the midterm elections,” South Korea's (left-wing) Hankyoreh reports https://t.co/EGq2XPK2xD pic.twitter.com/EArBioN7lH
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) February 2, 2018
There was still some doubt about the Hankyoreh report, with some American pundits noting that it is a left-leaning publication and that Pottinger would not be likely to advocate for war with North Korea. And though the reports of a potential war with North Korea have spread quickly online, there is no response from Donald Trump or the White House on the possibility of an attack.