Posted February. 15, 2017 07:04,
Updated February. 15, 2017 07:12
North Korea’s launch of a mid-range ballistic missile on Sunday obviously broke the mood when U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were having a dinner in Florida. At the same time, it was a clear provocation to Trump who has pledged that his priorities would include stronger security and employment in the U.S. In response to Pyongyang’s test-fire of a missile, Trump said Monday that the U.S. will deal very strongly with North Korea. In this regard, Trump is expected to announce his plan on how to pressure North Korea sooner than expected.
Lawmakers and experts in Washington are coming up with a barrage of ideas about how to pressure North Korea including a preemptive attack on nuclear facilities in North Korea and a secondary boycott sanction on Chinese companies engaged in a deal with North Korea. Most of all, the U.S. forces is capable of preparing a preemptive strike on nuclear facilities and missile bases in North Korea with its state-of-the-art weapons such as stealth bombers and tomahawk missiles.
U.S. strategic intelligence firm Stratfor published a scenario in June last year about mobilizing 10 B-2 stealth bombers, 24 F-22 stealth fighters, naval vessels and tomahawk missiles from submarines in order to eliminate North Korea’s nuclear and missile facilities, leaderships and air force units at a single stroke. However, this scenario seems mostly unrealistic considering the fact that many major military facilities are built underground. It would also cause hundreds of thousands of casualties in Seoul and its metropolitan regions in South Korea if North Korea responds with long-range missiles carrying a biochemical warhead.
Against this backdrop, it has been predicted that the Trump administration would consider all of the possible options that have been suggested so far to pressure North Korea while giving a clear warning to North Korea about the use of military means.
There are several possible options that the U.S. can use in order to isolate North Korea such as, to name a few, secondary boycott sanction on Chinese companies, financial sanction similar to the measures imposed on Iran, continuous accusation of human right abuses and restrictions on funds remittance from North Korean workers overseas.
Besides military measures, the secondary boycott sanction on North Korea’s Chinese partners will be the strongest possible hit to Pyongyang. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson promised on the use of secondary boycott sanction if necessary during his confirmation hearing at the Senate.