We ask a range of experts in South Korea and in the United States how worried we should be about the latest tensions between Pyongyang and Washington.
SEOUL — The saber-rattling from both North Korea and the Trump administration has many people worried that the world is on the brink of a nuclear war.
Kim Jong Un’s regime is threatening to fire a missile to land near Guam, the American territory in the Pacific Ocean that is home to two huge U.S. military bases, by the middle of this month. He seems to have the technical capacity to make good on this threat: his regime has made observable progress in its missile program, notably firing two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month theoretically capable of reaching the American mainland.
President Trump has issued tough warnings to North Korea in response. In his latest statement, on Thursday, he warned North Korea that “things will happen to them like they never thought possible” should the isolated country attack the United States or its allies.
There have been many periods of heightened tensions between the two countries over the years, especially in April and August, when South Korea and the United States conducted joint military exercises that North Korea considered preparation for an invasion.