While North Korea toys with reigniting war on the Korean Peninsula through its nuclear weapons program, Trump is responding to the threats by getting under Kim’s skin.
At the United Nations, Trump famously derided him as “Little Rocket Man.”
Now, Trump is back to trolling Kim Jong Un on Twitter in the best way possible.
In his annual New Year’s Day address, Kim Jong Un explicitly threatened the United States with the possibility of nuclear war, saying:
“The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, a nuclear button is always on my desk.”
Trump responded on Twitter reminding Kim Jong Un the United States has a large, working, nuclear arsenal.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
While the left predictably responded by going apoplectic over Trump’s tweet, Tom Rogan writing at the Washington Examiner reminds readers why Trump’s trolling actually makes strategic sense.
The president was simply reminding Kim and those around him that the U.S. has the ability to annihilate them on very short notice. And be under no illusions, Kim’s questionable sanity requires a constant and explicit counterpart in U.S. deterrence.
In addition, although crude, Trump’s tweet was accurate in its “bigger” button narrative. Consider the most forward deployed element of the U.S. nuclear triad: the U.S. nuclear ballistic missile submarine fleet (SSBNs). As the president frequently points out, at least one of these boats is now constantly stationed off the North Korean coast.
Again, this isn’t about bluster but balance of power on the most consequential of all national security concerns: nuclear deterrence. It’s about Kim knowing that his existence exists subject to the discretion of the United States and not vice versa.
Rogan goes on to argue the tweet also sends a message to China that America *may* be serious about using the military to disarm Kim Jong Un.
If China believes it, they’ll be far more inclined to pressure Kim to give up his weapons program.
What are your thoughts on Trump’s “nuclear button” comments?
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