De-escalation? Trump Says Military Action In North Korea "Not His First Choice"

Tyler Durden's picture

In yet another attempt at de-escalation by the US, moments ago as president Trump was leaving the White House, he responded to a reporter question on whether there will be military action in North Korea, saying that "it's not his first choice", but adding that "we'll see what happens."


The announcement prompted a modest relief rally in the USD, as well as a knee jerk reaction across other markets, with gold and Treasurys both ticking lower, while the USDJPY has rebounded by 25 pips to just shy of 109.00.

And some other comments further hinting at descalation:


Earlier in the day, Xinhua elaborated on the phone call, making it clear that China will not allow a non-peaceful resolution of the North Korea crisis.


More from Reuters:

Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through talks and peaceful means, Chinese President Xi Jinping told U.S. President Donald Trump in a telephone call on Wednesday. 


Washington and its allies have said there is a growing urgency for China, North Korea's top trading partner, to apply more pressure on its already isolated neighbour to get it to back down on its nuclear weapons and missiles programmes. China "unswervingly" works to realise denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula and to safeguard the international nuclear non-proliferation system, Xi told Trump, according to a statement from China's Foreign Ministry. 


"At the same time, we always persist in safeguarding peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and resolving the issue through dialogue and consultation," Xi said. "It is necessary to stay on the path of a peaceful solution." 


Xi also said that China attaches importance to Trump's visit to China later this year.


The statement cited Trump as saying that the United States was deeply concerned about the Korean nuclear issue and that it valued China's "important role" in resolving the problem.  U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Monday of "begging for war" and urged the Security Council to impose the "strongest possible" sanctions. 


It is unclear if China will back further sanctions. Beijing fears that completely cutting off North Korea could lead to its collapse, unleashing a wave of refugees into China's northeast. China accounted for 92 percent of North Korea's trade in 2016, according to South Korea. China's foreign ministry said on Tuesday it would take part in Security Council discussions in "a responsible and constructive manner".


China and Russia have advocated a plan in which the United States and Seoul stop major military drills in exchange for North Korea halting its weapons programmes, but neither side is willing to budge.


Trump and Xi last spoke by telephone on Aug. 12. The White House said in a statement at the time that their relationship was "extremely close" and "will hopefully lead to a peaceful resolution of the North Korea problem." 


But tensions in China-U.S. ties have increased since Trump took office, with the U.S. president having authorised an investigation into China's alleged theft of intellectual property, and suggesting trade relations would be linked to Beijing's help on North Korea.

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takeaction's picture

What is the answer??


All options leave a huge swath of is either now or later...what do you do?

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

Dennis Rodman is the answer. Send his body double specially trained in the assassination of little fat people.

[Insert cheap Chinese movie karate chop and man dying noises here.]

Jim in MN's picture

For the hundreth time, the answer is CHINA.

Not Putin, not any North Koreans.


The threat of war or collapse is also the threat of millions of refugees flooding into China.

And China can dispose of the NK regime any time it wishes.

China is still confident that Trump is bluffing.  But he's not.  And he's not threatening NK.

He's threatening China with a massive cost and inconvenience.

China should get out of their diapers and straighten their fucking hinterland out if they want to be such a superpower.


Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

OK, China with Dennis Rodman as the backup plan.

Agreed. China can take care of this at any time if it wishes.

Fake Trump's picture

XiI, Putin and Kim will know how to deal with Trump. Trump is no burger in the presence of them.

Jim in MN's picture

"The Worm" can definitely help.  But we should also send Lady Gaga just to be sure.

Dutch1206's picture

Are we talking Pistons Rodman or Bulls Rodman?

Fake Trump's picture

China will sort out Trump eventually. 

Veritas X-'s picture

First a History Lesson.

Second is, "Who's the Bad Guy?" :

>>> for starters>>>

"On a per-capita basis, the Korean War was one of the deadliest wars in modern history, especially for the civilian population of North Korea. The scale of the devastation shocked and disgusted the American military personnel who witnessed it, including some who had fought in the most horrific battles of World War II...

In fact, by the end of the war, the United States and its allies had dropped more bombs on the Korean Peninsula, the overwhelming majority of them on North Korea, than they had in the entire Pacific Theater of World War II....

MacArthur subsequently testified at joint hearings before the Senate’s Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Foreign Relations to discuss his dismissal and the “Military Situation in the Far East.”

“I shrink—I shrink with a horror that I cannot express in words—at this continuous slaughter of men in Korea,” MacArthur lamented during the hearings.

“The war in Korea has already almost destroyed that nation of 20,000,000 people. I have never seen such devastation. I have seen, I guess, as much blood and disaster as any living man, and it just curdled my stomach the last time I was there. After I looked at the wreckage and those thousands of women and children and everything, I vomited … If you go on indefinitely, you are perpetuating a slaughter such as I have never heard of in the history of mankind.”...."

>>> and this>>>

*The Destruction and Reconstruction of North Korea, 1950 - 1960* Charles Armstrong This article is part of an ongoing series at The Asia-Pacific Journal commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the start of the US-Korean War.

"The Korean War, a “limited war” for the US and UN forces, was for Koreans a total war. The human and material resources of North and South Korea were used to their utmost. The physical destruction and loss of life on both sides was almost beyond comprehension, but the North suffered the greater damage, due to American saturation bombing and the scorched-earth policy of the retreating UN forces.1 The US Air Force estimated that North Korea’s destruction was proportionately greater than that of Japan in the Second World War, where the US had turned 64 major cities to rubble and used the atomic bomb to destroy two others.  American planes dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea --  that is, essentially on North Korea --including 32,557 tons of napalm, compared to 503,000 tons of bombs dropped in the entire Pacific theatre of World War II.2 The number of Korean dead, injured or missing by war’s end approached three million, ten percent of the overall population. The majority of those killed were in the North, which had half of the population of the South; although the DPRK does not have official figures, possibly twelve to fifteen percent of the population was killed in the war, a figure close to or surpassing the proportion of Soviet citizens killed in World War II.3

The act which inflicted the greatest loss of civilian life in the Korean War by far, one which the North Koreans have claimed ever since was America’s greatest war crime, was the aerial bombardment of North Korean population centers.  American control of the skies over Korea was overwhelming. Soviet MIGs, flown by Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean pilots, were sometimes effective against American air power. But under Stalin’s orders, the Soviet fighter planes were strictly limited in number and in the range they were allowed to fly, lest US-Soviet air battles lead to a larger war.4 And in any case, Soviet air support did not come until the end of 1950. During the summer and fall, North Korean air defenses were virtually non-existent.  Lightly armed, local self-defense units in occupied South Korea could only watch and suffer as their towns and villages were obliterated from the air.5 By the end of the war, North Korea claimed that only two modern buildings remained standing in Pyongyang...."

The answer isn't China Jim.

You're looking at in the mirror.


Jim in MN's picture

So your suggestion would be for Trump to nuke DC? Or invite NK to do it? 



earleflorida's picture

bizarro world according to jim.....

for the millionth time, the answer is america

not zionist netanyahu or israel's hawks


the threat of war or the collaspe of zionist israel is the diaspora of millions of ashke`nazi zionist jews into muslim infested europe

and american can certainly dispose of zionist israels 'wmd's at any time it wishes

america is still confident that zionist netanyahu/conservative hawks are bluffing, but trump is not a statesman, but a half`ass politician, and trump is not threatening israel but the entire middle-east and all muslims whom number ~2.2 billion adherents

he's threatening the 'OBR' with 1.5 billion working employed nationalist, not on a welfare system

America should cease and desist,... or else israel jumps ship into the south pacific swimming gleefully into the yellow-sea above xi's yellow submarines serving up golden`yuan



Fake Trump's picture

 Believe it or not. This Rodman guy has less that 5 inches. Make sure his double has the same. Kim will check it. 

Winston Churchill's picture

You could try negotiating in good faith, a first for the US ,but you have to start somewhere.

MasterControl's picture

I see you are back to your old cuckery again Winston.

Mr Hankey's picture

Back on the clipped-dick,cuckfag. You're not fit to carry Hairy Lightning 's mighty sack.

Winston Churchill's picture

The truth hurting a little ?

I'm not making moral judgements,I'll leave that to ZHs resident bible thumpers,I just I have sensitive skin and would rather not burn to death in a nuclear exchange.

i don't see how anybody could take any agreement with Uncle Scam seriously, at this point in time, and that is a

very real problem for us all.

dlweld's picture

Putin “Everyone remembers well what happened to Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Hussein abandoned the production of weapons of mass destruction. Nonetheless, under the pretext of searching for these weapons, Saddam Hussein himself and his family were killed during the well-known military operation”.

“Even children died back then. His grandson, I believe, was shot to death. The country was destroyed, and Saddam Hussein was hanged. Listen, everyone is aware of it and everyone remembers it. North Koreans are also aware of it and remember it. Do you think that following the adoption of some sanctions, North Korea will abandon its course on creating weapons of mass destruction?”

“However, we cannot forget about what I just said about Iraq, and what happened later in Libya. Certainly, the North Koreans will not forget it.”

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

Yeah, that has worked so well in the past with all thugs who want control (through brutal violence) over an area and its people.

Lets have all of our elementary school children send him letters telling him how much we love him. That should work as well.

forestgump227's picture

Are you talking about the United States?

North Korea hasn't invaded anyone recently 

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

Odd, I didn't see "invaded" in my post anywhere. What hallucinogenic drugs are on currently on? Maybe try having someone read my post to you.

forestgump227's picture

"Control through brutal violence" The United States dropped more bombs on north korea than all the munitions used in world war 2. I would call that brutal violence.

You are brainwashed 

Mr Hankey's picture

ORANGE HAY-ZOOS  can't read, so his aides willhave to read them.

Mr Hankey's picture

....but. ..but...thats not Hairy Lightning 's opinion! WWHD?

Mr Hankey's picture


Jim in MN's picture

Meanwhile escalation IS the answer here at home:

Washington National Cathedral to remove Confederate commemorative windows

canadian shenanigans's picture

So are we supposed to continuously appease NK until we get our way? Europe tried that with Hilter and it didn't turn out well for them. Kim uses every inch we give him to build his military and nuclear capability. He doesn't care about his people or global opinion, he cares about power and a reunification of Korea under his control. Every move he makes leads to that goal.

Now he can build thermonuclear bombs small enough to fit on a warhead. While I doubt he will use them, I am certain he will sell them and he is the type of character that wouldn't think twice about selling them to ISIS or Hamas. IMO war is inevitable to resolve this crisis and the longer we wait the worse its going to get. This is the consequence of not finishing the Korean war.

TuPhat's picture

ISIS only has the funds we allow them to have through the CIA etc.  They won't be buying any nukes.  In a way you are right though,  only the US should be allowed to nuke other countries.  Nobody does it as good as we do.  If some of our avowed enemies had the power to destroy us we wouldn't be able to be the worlds bully anymore and that would be so much less fun.  The US should look inward for the solution to our problems and the canadiens should look to themselves as well.  The world would be a better place.

canadian shenanigans's picture

Your country's paranoia is not an excuse for war crimes. Canada has been haven for Nazi war criminals and I'm not proud of it!! In case you didnt know an estimated 2,000 Nazi war criminals quietly slipped into Canada following the Second World War and the government did virtually nothing for 40 years.

veritas semper vinces's picture

Some of them lived to comment here on ZH.

I'm curious,why do you think the rest of the world has to do what "we " are telling them to do,Why do they have to adopt the "western values and way of life"?

sarz's picture

Appease? The United States flattened every city in North Korea and killed one fifth of the people. They have also  seen what America has done lately to Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, based on transparent lies. 

canadian shenanigans's picture

Diplomacy is not appeasement. Non-intervention is not appeasement. "Allowing" crimes against humanity? The US government is fully committed to carrying out such atrocities. The US has used nuclear weapons and bombed civilians indiscriminately, even targeted them in many of its foreign interventions and unconstitutional wars. It has no moral standing upon which it can legitimately punish other nations for anything.

abyssinian's picture

pussy twitter in Chief! hahaha now go back to your Mexican wall and your swamp draining! 

Fake Trump's picture

He can't because Mexico is not paying the bill. He will strike Mexico preemptively. 

abyssinian's picture

Strike them with what? 20 tweets per hour? lol I voted for him but he is a joke right now. I guess still better than Killary! 

Genby's picture

Good job, Kim!

Every country has to possess nukes to scare cowardly Yankees off.

ToSoft4Truth's picture

#Negotiation, fuck yea!

Thordoom's picture

Tomorrow it will be FIRE and FURY. This men is ridiculous not udnerstanding one bit what diplomacy is about.

poland spring's picture

You cannot talk to a ruthless dictator who has no qualms of killing his own family!  Talking to Hitler didn't work.  Learn from history. Kim is not rational...when you spend precious resources to maintain a nuclear program at the expense of food for  your peoples in order to maintain absolute power?  Launching missiles over Japan?  Lets not forget the sneaky torpedo attack they did on SK a few years back.  They renigged on every deal in the last 20 years. He is a huge threat to global security because all it takes is 1 nuclear missile to do damage via EMP or the way supply chains around the world are.  Negotiation will only make him stronger and much more bolder because he can say no one in the world can stand up to him.  That type of ego mindset with his irrational mind, surrounded by yes men, very very very dangerous.  The world needs to wake up.

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

He "loved" his goat as well but nobody was allowed to mention it. The goat was scared, chained to the bedpost.

Fake Trump's picture

I love his daughter and wife. 

TuPhat's picture

That includes Poland.  You are in a far more dangerous situation than either the US, Japan, or South Korea.  You are advocating that we take on the Chinese who will defend NK.  Why don't you poles take out the Russians so you won't have to worry about their nukes?  Poland gets overrun every time europe has a hiccup or the Russians want some target practice.  You should quit worrying about Kim.

Mr Hankey's picture


dlweld's picture

Putin “Everyone remembers well what happened to Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Hussein abandoned the production of weapons of mass destruction. Nonetheless, under the pretext of searching for these weapons, Saddam Hussein himself and his family were killed during the well-known military operation”.

“Even children died back then. His grandson, I believe, was shot to death. The country was destroyed, and Saddam Hussein was hanged. Listen, everyone is aware of it and everyone remembers it. North Koreans are also aware of it and remember it. Do you think that following the adoption of some sanctions, North Korea will abandon its course on creating weapons of mass destruction?”

“However, we cannot forget about what I just said about Iraq, and what happened later in Libya. Certainly, the North Koreans will not forget it.”

jet20's picture

Don't try.... i see false equivalences all over this thread. Even Putin fell for them. That's because in reality Kim has proven only a fraction as rational as Saddam or Qaddafi were. The comparison is entirely false, Saddam neither possessed or even pursued WMDs nor did he attack or threaten his neighbours in the 10 years leading up to the Iraq War. Just because America was dead wrong on Saddam doesn't mean they are automatically wrong on North Korea too. Because if George W. had sorted out North Korea instead of Iraq back in 2003 the world would be alot more peaceful now!

veritas semper vinces's picture

You seem to conveniently forget or don't know about the war Saddam started against Iran,with US  encouragement and support ,killing > 1 mil people. And he did use chemical weapons provided by US.