Before Donald Trump won the 2016 U.S. presidential election many claimed that his bombastic and confrontational nature would lead the U.S. headlong into World War 3. After his extraordinary election win, Trump managed to upset China before he even took office. As reported by The Guardian at the time, Chinese officials were furious when president-elect Trump spoke to Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen on the telephone.
One would assume that Trump taking a congratulatory call from a foreign leader is hardly unusual or worthy of a headline. Sadly, the foreign leader was from Taiwan, and China does not recognize Taiwan as an independent nation. China’s “One State” policy means that they see Taiwan as part of China, and by taking a phone call from Tsai Ing-wen, Trump had inadvertently committed a diplomatic gaffe.
Just last week, Donald Trump’s approval of the U.S. attack on Syria set him on a collision course with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. As previously reported in the Inquisitr, Trump’s attack on a Syrian airbase infuriated Putin and arguably took a dangerous step towards World War 3. The base that was attacked is used by both Syrian and Russian aircraft that are in Syria to support the Assad regime, ostensibly in the fight against ISIS.
There is no proof that Russian forces were affected by the missile attack on the Syrian airbase, but Russia saw the attack as an act of provocation. So much so, that according to the Independent, both Russia and Iran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s key allies, have issued a statement saying they will react with force if Trump crosses their “red lines” in future.
“What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well.”
Trump’s approval of the missile strike in Syria has been condemned by many, who claim that Trump did not seek the approval of Congress or the United Nations before taking military action. Whatever justification there is for Trump’s approval of the attack in Syria, it has raised tensions between the U.S. and Russia and any raising of those tensions could bring World War 3 a step closer.
Did John McCain’s ‘Crazy Fat Kid,’ North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, Declare War On America?
According to New York Magazine, Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee “essentially declared war” on North Korea last week. McCain went on MSNBC and insulted the North Korean president by calling him a “crazy fat kid.” Let’s face it, McCain’s language would be seen as crass and insensitive in many situations, but to use such language to describe the leader of a country where no dissent is tolerated,was bound to provoke a reaction.
Of course, Donald Trump himself has been guilty of insulting Kim Jong-un and North Korea on multiple occasions. As reported by ABC News last year, Trump claimed that China has “total control” over North Korea.
“China has total control, believe me, they say they don’t. They have total control over North Korea. And China should solve that problem. And if they don’t solve the problem we should make trade very difficult for China.
“Because we are, believe it, we are holding China up. They’re taking so much money. They’re training our country, and they’re toying with us with North Korea. So, North Korea is totally under the control, without China, they wouldn’t eat.”
If Trump is correct in his assertion that China controls North Korea, then his sending a carrier group to the Korean peninsula will upset both North Korea and China. According to the Independent, Congressman Ted Lieu claims that Trump’s actions risk the lives of millions of people.
The U.S. carrier group is part of a massive joint naval exercise also involving Japan and South Korea. It is aimed at countering North Korean submarines, and it comes at a time when North Korea is believed to be ready to conduct further missile tests. There is a genuine fear that North Korea is close to developing the capability to attack the U.S. and Europe with Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles armed with nuclear warheads.
According to the Sun, senior Russian diplomats have warned Trump that North Korea could launch a preemptive strike against U.S. forces if it feels under threat. Of course, North Korea hasn’t just become a perceived threat to Donald Trump. The country has long been seen as a “rogue state,” and its development of a nuclear arsenal a real threat to the wider world. Trump has simply inherited a “problem” that has been around for decades.
The truth seems to be that in North Korea, Donald Trump faces an almost insurmountable challenge. How do you negotiate with a nation that sees a threat around every corner and isolates itself from the rest of the world? You can be sure that North Korea sees the U.S. as a threat every bit as much as the U.S. sees a problem with North Korea. Trump must find a way to defuse tension in the region, lest Kim Jung-un and North Korea feel that they are have become a “cornered rat.” If North Korea were to strike out, believing that there is no other course of action, then World War 3 could become an inevitability.
[Featured Image by Wong Maye-E/AP Images]