About two years ago, in 2016, noteworthy disagreements broke out between the #Pentagon and the #White House in regards to the priority that should be placed on cooperating with China on North Korea, as opposed to a strategy of military and diplomatic confrontation about recent developments in the South China Sea.

Now under #President Trump, the Oval Office seems to have chosen to cooperate with China so that the Chinese president can keep North Korean nuclear ambitions on the straight and narrow. This, however, doesn’t discount the US concern with what is happening in the ocean south of China.

The #United States has made it clear that they will reward #Chinese cooperation with advantageous China-United States trade negotiations, as well as less pressure overall with the situation that has been previously brewing in the #South China Sea.

This shift in diplomatic and strategic urgencies is noticeable and it deserves to be so, since the North Korean situation is fare more dangerous for the US than obscure arguments about “reefs, rocks and low-tide elevations” in the disputed region

The one weakness in this strategy however is the belief that China is able to reign in the crazy North Korean leaders on its own.