The System’s administrators love to distract people with manufactured crises and Donald Trump is a master distractor. His “fire and fury” threat to North Korea is the latest example. The FBI’s remarkable pre-dawn raid of Paul Manafort’s house is a far greater threat to Trump.
North Korea is not going to initiate a military attack on South Korea, Guam, or the United States. Their primary concern is their own survival. Any such attack would be suicidal. They are bizarre, but they are not irrational. They would not have lasted more than 60 years if they were.
Under President Clinton, they negotiated the Agreed Framework. Under the terms of that agreement, they stopped plutonium production in exchange for economic benefits. Then President Bush terminated further talks, over the objection of Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Then the U.S. learned that North Korea was violating the agreement by producing enriched uranium. Rather than negotiate a new agreement, the Bush Administration blew up the Agreed Framework, the Obama Administration avoided the issue, and here we are.
Despite his ambiguous, irresponsible rhetoric and the urging of people like Senator Lindsay Graham, Trump’s not going to launch a preemptive attack on North Korea. Not even Steve Bannon wants that. Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans and many Americans would die, and the United States would become a pariah on the world stage. There’s even some risk China would send troops to North Korea.
Hopefully all the talk of forcing North Korea to totally relinquish its nuclear capacity is a negotiating tactic. A more likely goal is to get them to stop testing, in exchange for a Korean War armistice and multiple economic benefits
In the meantime, cable news will sell more advertising and Trump will continue to divert attention away from the “witch hunt.”