An invasion appears to be impossible as the risk of wiping out most of the city of Seoul is too great. The North Koreans have stockpiled an arsenal of bombs and weapons aimed at the city along the 38th parallel separating the 2 countries. While strategists are attempting to find a solution to the problem there is another thing at play here. Trump plays hard but he also wants glory and the only way he will achieve that is by winning.
That means he must find a way to create absolute surprise and devastation in one hit. That may involve taking out the entire administration of the President, Kim Jong-un. The question is how can that be achieved without an invasion.
The G20 Summit in Germany provides a platform for a frank debate on the issue. What do the other nations think and are they supportive of a plan that might back-fire?
The people in charge of North Korea are well-trained and intelligent. They know as do most of the world that playing for time will gain them more than any war at this point. Their aim is to have a nuclear inter-continental ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States and most of its allies.
This is what the latter do not want to see happen. With Russia likely to side with the communist regime, as too China, the odds are already highly in favour of Trump backing down. But that is not in his normal manner. To back down is to admit defeat. Is it then a case of stale-mate until something else comes along?
The Korean war produced enemies on both sides of the divided peninsula. The north was under the protection of the USSR which nurtured a communist regime under Kim il-sun. It is his grandson who is now leading the country. Kim il-sun invaded the South in an attempt to unite the 2 countries after the second world war.
This brought 21 nations from around the world to the defence of South Korea. The war was bloody and prolonged and never really decided one way or the other. Peace was declared in 1953 with an armistice but no peace treaty was signed. That means the two sides are technically still at war.
This has left the current president with the fall-out and an obvious ambition to complete what his grand-father started. His antagonistic way of provoking South Korea and the west into some kind of retaliation against his threats by developing a nuclear bomb may be just a show with the aim of grand-standing.
The question facing Trump and others is just how serious his threats are and can he actually deliver what he is threatening? That is something to be decided because all of the panic may be about nothing. This is possibly another reason why Trump won’t invade and why the hope of other solutions may be found.