U.S. warns of possible military action against North Korea

Buffalo State professor says there's no simple solution to conflict

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – “All options are on the table,” that’s the word from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson following a series of North Korean ballistic missile tests.

The U.S. is leaving the door open to military action as technological advances in the North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs have raised the stakes.

“If North Korea takes actions that threatens the South Korean forces or our own forces, then that will be met with an appropriate response,” Tillerson said during a news conference in Seoul, South Korea.

Kyeonghi Baek, who teaches international relations at Buffalo State College, was born and raised in South Korea and still has family in Seoul.

She says the North Korean nuclear situation is a delicate balancing act with no simple solution for the U.S. and its allies in the region.

“The U.S. has a significant military base in Japan as well as South Korea. So in a way, an attack against South Koreans or Japan could be construed as an attack on American military personnel. That’s war against the United States,” Baek said.

The U.S. is calling on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Secretary of State Tillerson is hoping China will add pressure in the form of sanctions.

He’s expected to meet with Chinese officials this weekend and press them to do more to reign in North Korea.

But Baek, an associate professor in the political science department at Buffalo State, says there are indications that China, North Korea’s most important ally, doesn’t have the same influence over the “deeply isolated” country.

“They just don’t feel like China is the country to look up to anymore. China embracing global economy, trying to become in a way a global economy leader. To North Koreans, and to Kim Jong-un, seems like a betrayal of that ideology,” Baek explained.

North Korea has accelerated its weapons development as diplomatic efforts and sanctions over the years have done little to thwart provocations in the form of missile tests and rhetoric.

“Let me be very clear: The policy of strategic patience has ended,” Tillerson said. “We’re exploring a new range of diplomatic, security and economic measures.”

WIVB.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s