Experts mention that the United States have inconsideration a preventive strike against North Korea’s nuclear facilities,seeing it as a necessary thing to do before the North obtains a stable ICBM.The problem is that it would be hard to destroy some of North Korea’s roadballistic missiles that are targeting Japan and some parts of artillery that istargeting Seoul.Jim Mattis, and his Asian counterparts, havepledged to increase diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang and to strengthen militaryco-operation. The three ministers condemned, in the strongest terms, theunremitting provocative charges of North Korea. Ministers urge North Korea toabandon fully and verifiably irreversible nuclear and ballistic programs, readsin a statement signed by Jim Mattis and his Japanese counterparts, ItsunoriOnodera, and South Korean Song Young-Moo.The three allies have also pledged to implementUnited Nations sanctions against Pyongyang and intensify the exchange ofinformation.

Other than diplomacy, the United States,through its president’s twitter account, said: “I am allowing Japan andSouth Korea to buy substantially more sophisticated military equipment from theUnited States.”Authorization that the United States gave to the eastern countryafter a telephone call in which they agreed to increase the carrying capacityof South Korean missiles and missiles and the defensive possibilities againstthe recent threats, although they called for an increase in diplomatic pressureagainst the Kim Jong Un regime.Above diplomacy, US and South Korean governmentthought out other options that would stop North Korea from attacking. Due tomany ballistic and missile launches from the North, Trumps administrationthought of placing THAAD missile defense system in South Korea. The discussionsbetween South Korea and USA about implementing THAAD system (Terminal HighAltitude Area Defense), have been going since few years now, becoming more andmore realistic because of new ballistic or nuclear tests made by North Korea.For Seoul, the decision to implement THAAD system is necessary in order toprotect the population knowing that there is the possibility to face a war withNorth Korea, which has nuclear power to fight against. The interceptivemissiles used by THAAD do not contain explosives, but only target and hitballistic missiles at a very high speed so that the target missile is destroyedby the impact. This also prevents the detonation of a nuclear warhead installedon such ballistic missile.

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However, South Korea paralyzed the currentdeployment of the THAAD and strongly rejects any increase in US forces in itsterritory, as it is concerned to provoke its northern neighbors. Undoubtedly, China and Russia would alsoprotest and they do have the necessary power to complicate the life of theTrump government in other areas such as Eastern Europe or the seas of southernand eastern China.The US Navy could increase its presence aroundthe Korean peninsula by sending more destroyers capable of firing ballisticmissiles and, possibly, deploying a second combat group. But even moreimportant, perhaps, is that the time is in favor of North Korea, as an increasein the US military presence by itself it would not force North to cancel itsfast-growing nuclear weapons program, nor missile tests.Other option to deter North Korea would be forpresident Trump keep Obama’s strategy to obstruct North Korea’s missile tests.On the other hand this effort has a high risk of having unwanted consequencesif China and Russia decide to disrupt the launch tests. If the US decides to use a radical option thatwould be a large scale invasion to North Korea.

Given the size of Kim Jong-un’sarmy, the power of its artillery, the opacity of its air defenses and thereluctance of South Korea to support any US military action, this option wouldbe extremely disparate. Any attempt to invade North Korea would require monthsof a US military surge. Gradually in the area, a large-scale participation ofSouth Korea and a way to ensure the neutralization of the mysterious nuclearcapabilities of Pyongyang. It would also cost hundreds of thousands of lives onboth sides.SOUTH KOREAN AND AMERICAN RELATIONSThe United States and South Korea also havemilitary relations with military tensions and errors. With the Status of ForcesAgreement, US soldiers benefit from a privilege of extraterritoriality, astatus that also covers South Korean soldiers. In other words, judicial casesinvolving US soldiers present in South Korea are not judged by South Koreancourts but US courts, and vice versa for South Korean soldiers.

However, muchof the South Korean population criticizes the agreement, and denounces thecriminal acts of numerous American soldiers who went unpunished.The recent declassification of US militarydocuments again included on the agenda the exactions committed by the GI duringthe Korean War, which have been a source of tensions between the two countriesfor fifty years. The increasingly important rise of the Chinese economic powerin the Korean peninsula causes additional risks in the relations between theUnited States and South Korea.

In effect, US influence could diminish ifdiplomatic and judicial relations are not rethought and reinforced. Finally, the US and South Korean alliance even though had hadtensions it still stays strong and more powerful than ever. 

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