Will Trump's War be N. Korea

The administration is floating trial balloons about a pre-emptive strike on North Korea.

A North Korean involvement will be very complex and complexity is not Trump’s strong suit.

But, Trump needs an approval boost and a distraction from domestic issues. Will it be North Korea?


First, I’d like to see the evidence trail for those ‘trial balloons’. Outside of a recent tweet, (which says nothing much than what we already know), I haven’t read anything about this.

Second, I doubt that even Trump wants a conflict there, as it would be nasty, bloody (albeit it would be Koreans doing most of the bleeding), and have complex ramifications for the future, and complex is something that the Trump administration has yet to show any skills at.

Third, you want a ‘splendid little war’, like Reagan and Grenada, not something that will involve (almost immediately) 30,000 or so U.S. troops and naval personnel.

IMHO as always. YMMV.

He’d have to get China to buy into it. I’m not sure his diplomacy is up for that.

He’d also have to get the UN to buy into it. (Technically, the UN is the party running the Korean War, which has never ended.) I know his diplomacy isn’t up for that.

A unilateral preemptive strike would certainly lead to a much larger scale conflict, and I think Trump has got to be aware that it would open a rabbit hole we don’t want to climb into.

Moved from Elections to Great Debates.


Rat & Frank,

I agree with the above, but, based on history, Trump takes the most unorthodox path.

N. Korea may provide provocation. These are two unpredictable adversaries.


I would like to see those trial balloons, if possible.


Trial balloons:



Iran: “All options are on the table.” I don’t think that phrase means as much as you are portraying.

Our chief diplomat, Wayne Tracker, just mentioned lately that diplomacy with North Korea has failed and now it is time for plan B. Or words to that effect.

If you want a direct quote from me you’ll have to wait until I get near my PC. I can’t link for shit with my phone.

The base seems more interested in Iran than North Korea, but if we believe that Russia has an influence on Trump it’s unlikely he’d stir up trouble right on their borders. That said, North Korea seems like a good target for Trump to bluff and bluster about without actually initiating or intending any action (unless required by the NK’s own actions).

So I anticipate a lot of sabre-rattling from Trump but no pre-emptive invasions unless he needs a REALLY big distraction from something he’s done. And then he’ll probably invade Guam or Burkino Faso or something like that.

Yep and “All options…” includes (said, not implied) a pre-emptive strike against a nuclear nation.

Trump + pre-emptive strike. Not Chicken little territory.


We already invaded Guam, but Trump might not be aware of that until after the invasion.


It also includes negotiation, abject surrender, renewed food aid, and a sternly worded note saying that this is going to go on their Permanent Record.

How is this different from the last time a President spoke on the subject?


Last time there was a firm hand on the button. Obama did not need cover for a rapidly failing

‘Everything on the table’ followed by ‘pre-emptive strike’ hardly means ‘abject surrender’.


We got lucky. I mean, the whole island might have tipped over.

Any president not leaving “everything on the table” is pre-emptively hobbling his own position. The time to get worried is when pre-emptive strikes are being picked up and openly considered rather than just kept ‘on the table’.

All options are always on the table. Our discussion is about the verbal balloons being lofted by the administration during Tillerson’s visit to China.


Doubtful. There doesn’t seem to be any path that Trump et al could take to war with North Korea that works in his benefit. I doubt the new South Korean government would be keen…they seem to be rethinking the deployment of THAAD which has pissed off the Chinese so much. China is currently hammering South Korea pretty hard with trade sanctions and economic warfare to pound them back in line. I doubt Japan would support a US strike on North Korea either. So, I’m not seeing how Trump could use the current situation to start a major war in Korea, or how he could possibly see it as a useful distraction. Rather like throwing gasoline on your face and lighting it on fire to distract from that really big zit you have on your chin.

I think the ‘trail balloons’ you are mentioning are just more bluster and bullshit from Trump et al. IF a war happens in Korea it won’t be because Trump and his merry men are trying to distract from his rampant foot in mouth actions…it will be because Lil’ Kimmy v3.0, China, the Trumpster and probably South Korea and Japan all fucked up and miscalculated their various actions. I’d put Kimmy v3, Trump and China at the top of the ‘probably fucked up and miscalculated’ list, in no particular order, since they are all fucking up pretty constantly and I think all of them are miscalculating what they actions are going to do.

I don’t think there are any verbal balloons. There’s words, to be sure, but it seems to me that they have no meaning so far. I think you’re starting with your conclusion and backing in to whatever evidence you can grasp at.

Ravenman, XT,

Coinciding statements by the President and the Sec of State can be viewed as trial balloons.

I agree, they are the usual political bullshit. But, the world runs on bullshit. And, consider this administration’s demonstrated skill in launching EOs. They may be equally adept at international affairs.

Also, compared to Trump, Bush was an expert at stategery. Remember how well that worked.


Then I don’t understand what you are saying. If all options are always on the table, then what difference does it make if a given administration says so? It’s no different from Obama saying that we could destroy N. Korea. That’s obviously true as well.