President Trump made a clear and profound statement during the Olympics held in South Korea: There is a truce and everyone should enjoy it while it lasts. Why? Well, the North Korea crisis is imminent. The risk of a war blowing up looms on the horizon—we could be expecting full-scale confrontation within the next two months. President Trump’s stance is justifiable to some extent. North Korea is a country that oftentimes imprisons (and not to mention, tortures) American individuals after placing them in a Gulag-like system. The same country also made numerous threats about raising a nuclear hell on American soil. And no leaders of a country should remain calm before this kind of threat, indeed.
However, more important questions about the North Korea crisis are perhaps the simplest one. Are there any possibilities that sanctions could have averted war, leading to a diplomatic negotiation? Will the sanctions lead to a military disaster instead of peaceful conversations, which may possibly drag other countries along and create a nightmare that is World War III? Trump’s strategy is to give sanctions to North Korea—a strategy that many dubs a python strategy. The US practically squeezes the regime so tight and hard that the regime in question has no other choices but to relent, willing to negotiate.
There are two possible outcomes to look forward to from this strategy. The North Korea crisis can be prevented from growing into a war if the regime decides that there is an existential threat looming over its head and follows through with a negotiation. Ivanka Trump is currently in South Korea, which serves as a perfect timing for the regime to reach out and arrange a conversation. The Trump administration is actually demanding that North Korea denuclearize itself. If negotiations yielded positive results, the war could be averted altogether.
Another scenario is much more likely. Pyongyang may actually turn their face away and begin testing missiles. They would wait until the Paralympics ends in mid-March, after which a real move could be clearer to observe. The North demanded a joint exercise between the South and the US be canceled, which is not a possibility, according to the US. If the joint exercise still takes place by the estimated date, the North would likely push back and move forward with their plan of testing nuclear missiles in the atmosphere. From there, let’s just hope North Korea crisis dies down faster than it comes back.