How likely do you think all out war with North Korea is?

Question in the title.

As for time horizon, let’s go with: until the end of Trump’s first term.

I see the definite possibility of some sort of military action. Might not be an all out war though.

No chance. No more so than Cuba or Venezuela or Palestine. Despite the bluster of any/all bully regimes whose military-industrial complex depends on threatening to kick some country around (aka defend us from) for failing to be obedient.

I voted “quite unlikely”, because I don’t think that North Korea has the capability to wage anything that could be described as “all out war”.

Could happen, but not likely.
I was going to vote a greater chance due to the idea that Trump doesn’t know when to, or just refuses to back down. Then I thought of the health care ultimatum to congress, and the wall funding budget ultimatum, and I realized that he has no problem at all backing down.

If Kim faces War or submitting to being replace by a Junta, I predict War.
Otherwise…

I think half the missiles NK touts in their military parades are probably hollow pipes painted to look like missiles. If there is any sort of military action, it will likely be to take out Kim Jung Un and install a friendlier leader that will get rid of the nuclear program. Maybe even reunify Korea. If there is war, it won’t last long. Trump doesn’t mess around.

I predict that if anything happens, it will be missiles that misfire or just plain old don’t hit targets (most likely, they’ll fall into the ocean) and they’d be throwing rocks in very short order.

About as likely as me banging Ivanka.

The USA is a support act, desperate to pretend it’s more important in order to validate its ridiculous military, and when it’s actually doing China’s bidding

I would say zero. Russia and China will not allow the US to attack, and NK’s leader, while he does seem to be a nut case, has more of Trump to him than anything else. Lots of bluster for effect, lots of crazy accusations, but so far, only actually murders his own people.

I really don’t know. Normally, my guess would be “highly unlikely” but I don’t know if anyone knows that Trump will do. Things seem to change on whims.

It’s not outside of the realms of possibility that North Korea will fix their ICBMs and also modify their atomic bomb to become small enough for them.

With the recent increased tensions, its also possible that an accident could happen.

Likely. It’s Trump.

I also went with “buy quite unlikely.”
Was this a Freudian slip, BTW? Anybody looking for stocks to buy that will do great as Trump idiocies continue?

Any time Kim wants to start a war, he can kiss his country and his ass good-bye.

No idea very unpredictable.

Kim seems to be in a weaker position than either dad or grandad and playing the external brinksmanship game pretty hard as a result. That got us to one of our closest brushes with renewed war on the peninsula two years ago with the sinking of the ROKS Cheonan. That escalated up to the point of trading artillery fire across the border before it de-escalated. The difference from all the other times is that this time Kim is playing up a nuclear threat. That raises the stakes. One of the traditional levers of influence is shipping them food to secure peace. That seems to have stopped working as well. The Obama administration cut off promised food shipments in response to ballistic missile tests in 2012. Kim didn’t blink. He continued his nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Being off the typical playbook for how these events play out increases the risk of a party miscalculating.

South Korea has a Presidential election May 9th playing out against this backdrop. We’ll know more about what approach they will be taking in a week and a half.

China’s in a different position than it has been for most of the 6 decades since the cease fire. They still don’t want a unified peninsula with a country allied with the US on their border. Recent years have seen them taking a more aggressive policy to extend their influence around the region. They also seem to be rightly concerned about the brinksmanship in their buffer zone being nuclear this time. Their economy is more dependent on foreign trade than it was for much of the early post cease fire period. They have moved 150k troops to their border as well. How new and conflicting pieces of national interest sort out, or don’t, into a coherent policy is a source of unpredictability.

Then we have a resurgent Russia that has been pushing influence outside it’s borders in a way that is different than the Cold war or early post Cold War era. They have a veto on the UN Security Council along with a small border with North Korea. They recently moved ground forces to that border as well. That’s another major power involved in where this goes.

Then we have Trump who is not the best informed about foreign policy and likes to speak or tweet off the cuff. His Secretary of State is facing a steep learning curve. He’s publicly criticized the National Intelligence Community and doesn’t seem to view them as source of good information. That seems like a bad mix to make skilled policy decisions in the face of an uncertain situation. It’s especially bad if the situation demands quick decisions. IMO it most definitely adds yet another big area of uncertainty.

The three dominant world powers, sorting out policy differences with respect to the peninsula, against broader and new implications for outside of the peninsula. South Korea has an uncertain foreign policy focus till after the election. North Korea seems to be on a trend of higher levels of brinksmanship at the same time they have added nukes to the mix. US foreign policy seems to vary day to day and statement to statement. Calling the overall situation very unpredictable is an understatement IMO.

Highly likely. Trump is thin skinned, mentally unstable, stupid, completely amoral and has no concern for consequences. I consider the odds of him attacking NK to be high, quite possibly with nuclear weapons. More likely because they speak “disrespectfully” than because of them doing anything militarily.

50/50 chance in a 20 year time frame is my best guess. I can’t see North Korea putting up much of a fight though. I would think we will be at total war with China during my lifetime (I have approximately 50 years left to live if life expectancy statistics are to be believed) which quite possibly could be the End of everything if it does happen.

High. The US won’t allow North Korea to develop ICBMs

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Everybody except the US & maybe SK is fairly happy with the status quo.

In particular Russia and China want to position forces to manage a possible refuge flow and to dissuade the US from getting too confident. But they don’t want to upset the status quo.

The growing nuke threat is *very *worrisome. But it’s hard to wake up one morning and say “yesterday the growing threat wasn’t worth attacking to stop. But *today *it is.” Which means that the only way we or SK take action is if something changes abruptly. It may be us getting secret intel about missile or warhead progress. Or it may be something public and overt, like another Cheonan incident.

Trump *is *unstable. But the DoD isn’t going to war over nothing particular just because Trump pitches a fit one day.
The problem with this scenario is that Kim is the guy who controls the “news” that potentially moves this whole thing off TDC. There’s not a lot of reason to think he truly understands how badly the war will go for him and his government.

He certainly doesn’t give the slightest f*** what risks he’s running for the citizens of the US, China, and Russia. All ~2 billion of us. I don’t see any *plausible *way a full-bore 3-way strategic nuclear WWIII scenario gets set off by NK adventurism. But I have to suspect that one of his falling-asleep fantasies is him triggering that 3-way wargasm then picking up the pieces as Rightful Dictator of the Remaining World.
My bottom line: *very *hard to predict, but inertia is a powerful force in international relations. And inertia points towards no open warfare.

Trump is going to tweet some stupid things but in the end he is going to follow the recommendations of Mattis and McMasters. Possible but not likely.