Tonkin Gulf incident in 1964 was a watershed in the history of Vietnam as it led to an escalation of the war. Facts have now emerged that the incident was stage managed by President Johnson to show Vietnam was the aggressor. It also gave him an excuse to launch the air bombardment of North Vietnam. The war ended badly for the United States and resulted in a humiliating defeat. Donald Trump appears to be following in the footsteps of Johnson by breathing fire against North Korea. He has tweeted North Korea better not make any threats otherwise they will be met by “fire and fury like the world has never seen”.

North Korea is not yet a threat

The US military has said that North Korea presently has no means to attack any American base, yet Trump is making belligerent statements to the effect that in the case of the North attacks it would "truly regret it". Trump could use such statements of north korean intent, to launch a preemptive strike. North Korea does have a few nuclear warheads but they cannot reach the USA or even Guam. So what is Donald Trump talking about? Is he like Johnson, planning a bombing of the North?

Johnson and Trump

There is a big difference from the era of Johnson because at that time North Vietnam had no nuclear weapons. But the scenario here is North Korea does have a few nuclear bombs and Kim Jong has repeatedly asserted that any attack on the North will bring a terrible retribution on the South.

The secretary of defence, General Mattis has said that war on the Korean peninsula would be a great calamity and bring untold suffering. In case Trump orders a strike on the North, there is every chance that Kim could authorise a nuclear attack on the South and that would invite severe American retaliation. The result would be the complete annihilation of the Korean people and the peninsula.

Considering that half-life period of a nuclear bomb is 50 years, it could well mean the end of civilisation in that region.

Trumps obsession

Donald Trump is playing with fire and stooping to the level of Kim Jong who is in the habit of making bombastic statements without foundation. One wonders what is his obsession with North Korea.

This is in contrast to China which went nuclear in the sixties and daily threatened America, yet the then presidents did nothing.

Case of China

The USA accepted China as a nuclear power but in the case of Korea, Donald Trump has repeatedly asserted that possession of nuclear weapons by North Korea will not be allowed as it is a threat to the USA. He has been threatening war to ensure this and one wonders how North Korea can be a bigger threat than China.