Korea is at a flashpoint for a world war; something that has up till now looked impossible, mainly because of the near destruction it will bring on the planet, and in this particular case, the Korean peninsula. The jingoism was started by the Korean dictator Kim Jong -Un who boasted of hitting the United States with Nuclear weapons. Donald trump joined issue with him and unlike other presidents replied in similar language that in case North Korea dared to attack the USA he would unleash forces that the Korean leader will regret. The insinuation was clear, Trump was talking about an air strike on the North.

This sent alarm bells ringing and Trump's further statement that the military option is ready added fuel to the fire. The North Korean leader then stepped back and said that before he would do anything he would wait for the Americans do something foolish so then he could react. It appears Trump is inclined to a military option but is restrained by his close advisors and South Korea.

South Korea holds a veto

In a military adventure launched by the USA, the biggest loser will be South Korea. That is the reason in a recent meeting with the topmost US general on a visit to Korea, the South Korean president Moon made it amply clear that South Korea would veto any attack on the North. He also told General Joseph Dunford that no attack should be launched without South Korean approval.

President Moon has all along been talking about a face-to-face meeting with the North with negotiations. He cannot afford a US strike, even a limited one on the North.

High stakes

The stakes for the South are very high. An attack on the North will unleash forces that will devour the Korean peninsula. Kim Jong has made it clear, time and again that any attack on the North will invite "merciless" retribution.

The south is at a great disadvantage as its population centres and the capital Seoul are just 35 km from the DMZ and even if Kim only launches an artillery barrage, it would lead to terrible destruction. US Secretary of Defence General Mattis has already said that a war on the Korean peninsula will bring untold hardship on the Korean people.

US cannot afford a strike

Kim Jong is an unpredictable man and woe betide in case he launches a nuclear attack, North Korea would lose but the South and almost 28,000 US soldiers would be at great risk. Realising the danger the Chinese president Xi has asked Trump to tone down his rhetoric. The USA cannot afford to attack the North and despite all talk by Trump, he is really in a bind. What of the future? It looks that the USA, in the long run, will have to accept some nuclear weapons negotiations with North Korea.