In 1964 President Johnson staged the famous Tonkin Gulf incident which gave an excuse to the USAF to launch the air bombardment of North Vietnam. News has now emanated that two USAF B-1 bombers escorted by South Korean fighters flew extremely close to the Dmz. This was the closest the US planes have flown to the DMZ after the end of the Korean War. This show of force was with the concurrence of the South Korean president Moon Jae-in. One wonders how he authorized the grave provocation as in the event of a war the biggest loser would be South Korea. There is no doubt that the North would be defeated but people who expect an easy victory like in Libya, Iraq, or Syria are not aware of the capability of the Hermit Kingdom to hit back.

Casualties

The North has had all the time to pile up weapons and ammunition after 1953 close to the DMZ and its artillery is trained on Seoul just 38 km away could cause great devastation. A Pentagon war scenario has estimated that the South Koreans could suffer almost 20,000 casualties each day in a conventional war.This estimate is given by retired US Air Force Brigadier General Rob Givens who has served in Korea, as reported by the Times.

The stakes

The stakes and casualties could be higher in case the North unleashes its nuclear weaponry and this could well lead to complete destruction of the Korean peninsula. In that case, one wonders what would be the use of a victory and defeat of North Korea

For too long have the Americans been fed on a diet where there was no worthwhile opposition like in Iraq and Libya.

North Korea is different as it has WMD as well as the means of retaliation. I wonder if Trump feels he will get away like Johnson by attacking the North. However, at that time there were no nuclear weapons in Vietnam and yet the ironic fact is the US had to retreat as Ho Chi Minh overran the South.

Trump's obsession

Many people feel Trump has an obsession with North Korea.

He would like nothing better than to have a strike on North Korea like he did in Syria. But Syria had no means of retaliation and Trump could show he meant business. The stakes in Korea are higher and Kim Jong-un is not Saddam Hussein. He may very well lose but he could unleash a terrible devastation.One has a lurking feeling that many in the top echelons of the US military are aware of the dangers involved in acts of brinkmanship, like flying bombers close to the DMZ.

This is not the best way to reach out to the North. The time is for leadership and statesmanship which unfortunately has not been displayed by Trump who keeps on talking of the military option being kept "locked and ready".

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