South Korea and Japan in particular are likely to be increasingly nervous about what two unpredictable leaders might do as North Korea ramps up provocations against the US.
North Korea has warned that US-South Korean military exercises are driving the Korean Peninsula and northeast Asia toward “nuclear disaster”.
The reclusive state fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan’s northwest on Monday (NZT), angering South Korea and Japan.
Kim Jong Un supervised the test launches which were by an army unit commissioned with attacking US military bases in Japan, the country’s state media said on Tuesday (NZT).
The launches were a training exercise for a strike on those bases, it said.
The North Korean ambassador to the United Nations, Ja Song Nam, said in a letter to the UN Security Council hours after the missiles were launched that the US-South Korea exercises were the “the most undisguised nuclear war manoeuvres”.
“It may go over to an actual war,” Ja warned of the military drills, “and, consequently, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is again inching to the brink of a nuclear war”.
How will Donald Trump respond to provocations like this?
Hopefully he will stick to pushing buttons on his Twitter rather than anywhere else.