US vs North Korea: Will there be war?

AS stock trading on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) resumes today after a long Songkran holiday, many have been worried about the risk of war between US and North Korea as the war drums have been banging loudly and widely covered by both the traditional and online media.

Many online news websites  TNEWS included, have been very sensational and over exaggerating in their headlines in a bid to lure readers and anyone overindulging with online news consumption might have been afraid that the war between US and North Korea is unavoidable.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-unTraders in particular are worried that if the war really happens, that would certainly affect their stock portfolios while gold investors would profit from such event.

Last week US President Donald Trump had warned North Korea over Twitter it was looking for trouble trying to test its nuclear bomb, with its warships slowly moving to the Korean peninsula while Pyongyang threatened to launch a nuclear attack on  US and its military bases in South Korea and Japan if provoked.

The two nations, which are locked in a war of words, have sparked fears a war could be on the horizon but most gurus on Facebook have been less convinced and believed nothing would happen aside from the war of words.

Prinn Panitchpakdi, Managing Director at CLSA Securities (Thailand) Limited, in his Facebook live over the weekend told his followers not to be over worried about the on-going situation, saying it is almost certain that the war between US and North Korea would not happen.

He said it is impossible for him to guarantee 100 per cent the war would not break out between the two but he believed the possibility is less than 0.01 per cent.  “I talked to my colleague in Seoul who told me people in South Korea are living their normal life there including our staff at CLSA. No one fled the scene.”

Mr Prinn pointed out that the North Korean issue has been going on for many years and it is believed that US would not invade North Korea without any agreement or concession from South Korea, which would be most affected if the war breaks out.

Thanong Fanclub, a Facebook news page with over 165,000 followers, said what happened on Saturday April 15 was sort of an anti-climax for most US-North Korea conflict followers.

On Saturday, North Korea marked the 105th anniversary of the birth of its founding president, Kim Il-sung, with a huge military parade in Pyongyang amid speculation that current leader Kim Jong-un could order a new nuclear test but eventually the test did not happen.  The parade, which appeared to include new intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, was a deliberate show of strength.

But on that day, Trump did not stay to command what military action should be taken if the nuclear test did take place. Instead, Trump just went to his resort, taking a rest for another weekend at his languid Florida Mar-a-Lago retreat, this time without the usual retinue of top aides who have accompanied him in the past, even as global tensions flare.

That’s an anti-climax, Thanong said, adding that Mr Trump might get bored of his role being a puppet as now the Pentagon can do whatever they like without having to report to him.  Just what CNBC reported on Friday that the US commander in Afghanistan ordered the use of the “mother of all bombs” to attack an ISIS stronghold near the Pakistani border didn’t need and didn’t request President Donald Trump’s approval.

Pok Pluek Thorarat, another Facebook page with lots of followers, is also of an opinion that possibility of war breaking out is low as this might be a power play among the super powers, namely, US, Russia and China. China has spread its military wing into the South China Sea, the move which prompted US to move against North Korea, saying if China failed to stall North Korea’s nuclear test, it would do that itself.

Following cruise missile attack by US in Syria, Mr Trump sent his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Russia.  It’s Rex’s first official visit to Moscow and it’s not a surprise as he had a chance to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, aside from meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Rex used to be with Exxon and he and Putin knew each other during the time when he worked in the oil and gas business and Rex is the one awarded an order of friendship by the Kremlin.

Some gurus said what happened in Syria seemed to benefit both US and Russia as the arms industry in US got a big boost while oil and gold price rose significantly benefiting Russia, world’s largest oil producer. Mr Putin will visit the China to meet with its leader Xi Jin Ping next month as both do not want war to erupt in the Korean peninsula and further escalate in Syria because of  US.


Top: The Carl Vinson (centre) is being escorted by other warships. Photo: AFP via BBC

Inset: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at a military drill. Photo: Reuters via  BBC

By Kowit Sanandang


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *