Would Trump Nuking North Korea 'Make America Great Again'?

Authored by Andrew Korybko via Oriental Review,

If Trump is willing to accept the enormous loss of American life — which are the only people that he cares about as the US President — then turning the Korean Peninsula into Asia’s nuclear panhandle would indeed “Make America Great Again” by permanently handicapping its Russian & Chinese geostrategic competitors as well as its Japanese & South Korean economic ones.

The war of words between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald J. Trump has suddenly taken a very foreboding turn, with both men now talking about “nuclear buttons” and openly hinting at the prospects of carrying out a preemptive first strike against the other.

The first thing to remember is that Trump is dead serious (pun intended) about his desire to “Make America Great Again”, and that he will stop at nothing to see his vision fulfilled in the future, including if he has to use nuclear weapons to make it happen.

Normative objections like arguing about how “terrible” and “evil” this is have absolutely no effect on Trump, who has come to be the literal embodiment of the “Mad Man Theory” and cares nothing about such concerns, ruthlessly viewing the world through a Neo-Realist prism where everything revolves around power.

If there’s any “emotional” point that would give Trump pause to think, then it’s about the lives of the nearly quarter-million Americans (including servicemen and their families) living in South Korea who could easily be killed in the opening days of a Korean Continuation War, and this is the only reason why Trump has yet to use nuclear weapons against North Korea.

Right now the President whose opponents label as a “heartless psychopath” is actually very concerned about the moral responsibility that he would have to forever shoulder in potentially sacrificing so many Americans, but if he ever surmounts his conscientious objections to this or is misled by the “deep state” into believing that North Korea is in the imminent process of launching its own preemptive strike (or is provoked by the military to already do so), the he might “make peace with himself” in the “comfort” that “only” 250,000 Americans had to die (notwithstanding the millions of Asians that he doesn’t care about) in order to “Make America Great Again”.

US bases in South Korea

Brutally speaking, the only real consequence that the US would suffer from nuking North Korea is the death of its South Korean-based compatriots as “collateral damage”, and the possibility of a Chinese military response to America’s brazen bombing(s?) could be avoided if Washington provokes Pyongyang into striking first because of Beijing’s previous pledge not to intervene if its wayward “ally” is the one most directly “responsible” for reigniting hostilities.

Accepting that the US would quickly emerge as militarily victorious in this conflict, it’s now time to examine how the destructive consequences of nuking North Korea would actually “Make America Great Again” from Trump’s “Kraken”-like Neo-Realist perspective.

To begin with, almost all of North Korea’s territory could be rendered inhospitable depending on the scale and scope of the US’ nuclear arms use, thus turning it into the ultimate “buffer zone” and thereforr making the decades-long question of whether the (now-former) country would be occupied by Chinese or American-South Korean troops after a speculative continuation war moot.

Secondly, the atmospheric aftereffects of America’s nuclear weapons use are difficult to precisely predict and should be left to more competent experts to comment upon in detail, but it can confidently be presumed that this would affect South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia, up to and including making some of their territory also inhospitable.

Not only that, but Seoul and even Tokyo could be wiped out if Pyongyang is successful in nuking them in its final moments, and even if they’re not destroyed, then the resultant nuclear atmospheric damage to South Korea and Japan would devastate these once-strong Asian economies and reduce them to uncompetitive “Third World” states.

The same can also happen to a large chunk of China in its rustbelt “Manchurian” region of the Northeast, as well as the base of Russia’s Pacific Fleet and its “Window to Asia” in Vladivostok, though the exact consequences are again subject to the atmospheric ramifications resulting from the scope and scale of any speculative American nuclear bombing of North Korea.

One of the relevant tangential developments that could unfold is that China’s domestic agricultural industry could collapse, and this could combine with the widespread fear resulting from the nearby radioactive panhandle to produce unpredictable socio-political consequences in the People’s Republic.

Furthermore, the nuclear destruction of North Korea and the attendant apocalyptic aftereffects that this would have for Northeast Asia would for all intents and purposes remove each of these victimized nation-states from the geopolitical game except for perhaps Russia, seeing as how they’d all be wreaked with internal turmoil in dealing with the long-term radioactive fallout of what happened, thus restoring the US to its immediate post-World War II “glorious” position in recapturing the majority of the global economy and literally “Making America Great Again”.

It’s precisely this “reward” that is so tempting to Trump and why his finger is itching to press the nuclear button, but then again he’s still held back by the thought of the quarter-million American lives that might have to be sacrificed as a result, though he might “console” himself with the “excuse” that this was “necessary” in order for the remaining 320+ million to “rule the world”.

As for the millions upon millions of Asians who would surely die in this scenario, Trump would “rationalize” it by convincing himself that he was taking North Korean “slaves” “out of their misery” and that all the others who allowed Kim Jong Un to “get out of control” and launch what the Pentagon might provoke to be Pyongyang’s first strike “deserved it”, shedding all personal responsibility for this by claiming that he “inherited an impossible mess” from his hated predecessors who already made its dynamics “irreversible” and therefore its conclusion “inevitable”.

The only realistic chance that Trump can be stopped from nuking North Korea in the event that he “gets over” the potential deaths of a quarter-million Americans (considering that the deaths of Asians aren’t anything that he cares about) and/or is misled into thinking that North Korea is on the cusp of launching its own imminent first strike (or was provoked into doing so) is if Russia and China convey the message to the US — whether openly or discretely — that they will respond with nuclear weapons if Washington dares to use them.

This brinksmanship would be very dangerous because there’s no telling whether Kim Jong Un would introduce nukes into any forthcoming conflict first, though from Pyongyang’s perspective it would have to in order to ensure its survival or “go out with a bang” like it’s been threatening, resultantly giving the US a semi-“plausible” right to respond in kind, albeit much more disproportionately.

However much some people may wish, it is unlikely that Russia and/or China would go to nuclear war against the US over North Korea, especially in the event that Pyongyang used nukes first (whether justifiably or not), and in spite of the long-term radioactive fallout that could devastate their two countries (China much more so than Russia in this case).

In addition, it can be assured that any US nuclear (counter-)attack against North Korea would be preceded by the scrupulous monitoring of all Chinese nuclear assets “just in case”, meaning that Washington would be on “red alert” to nuke China if Washington thought that Beijing was about to bomb its overseas bases or homeland in preemptive response for the deadly radioactive future that the US would be giving it, thus representing an unimaginably dangerous situation fraught with the risk of even the smallest misstep leading to a nuclear war between the US and China and further diminishing the chance that Beijing would strike back.

All in all, Trump is proving himself to be the consummate risk-taker who’s not afraid to up the stakes in any situation, and a thorough read of his personality proves that he wouldn’t shy away from using nuclear weapons against North Korea, deeply believing that it’s the key to “Make America Great Again” even if this would run the chance of a nuclear war with China too.

Trump is a modern-day Machiavelli who doesn’t care about morals, ethics, and principles when it comes to advancing his country’s grand strategic interests on the world stage, but it’s because of the little bit of “humanity” that’s still left within him in caring about the fate of a quarter-million Americans that he has yet to push the nuclear red button that’s sitting so tantalizingly close on his desk.


Tallest Skil Gen. Ripper Fri, 01/05/2018 - 02:14 Permalink

On the one hand, Israel wants the Kim regime copied around the whole world with its capital in Jerusalem and openly defies international sanctions against the norks. On the other hand, they also want war with the country.

I say pull all US troops out of every country, end all mutual defense treaties, and let the world fucking burn. How’s about they waste some of their lives for once?

In reply to by Gen. Ripper

Laowei Gweilo Tallest Skil Fri, 01/05/2018 - 02:18 Permalink

why not? cuz Trump's not actually that Machiavellian? at best he's Hobbesian

both Machiavelli and Hobbes at cynical personal ambition, but in the Prince the former still embraced the republic; it was the latter that rejected the republic in the Leviathan. if we look at Trump as republic-rejecting populist for self gain, there's little argument he's more Machiavellian than Hobbesian.

>>> re: "Trump is a modern-day Machiavelli who doesn’t care about morals, ethics, and principles when it comes to advancing his country’s grand strategic interests on the world stage" <<<

mmmmmm no offense, but he hasn't even come close to the tragedies nor the horrors that either Obama or Bush caused in the Middle East

Trump talks, but in practice he's been one of the most passive foreign interventionists the White House has seen. Hawk Clinton would have already "accidentally" bombed some Russian soldiers in Syria or Chinese fishermen in the SCS.

Can't compare grabbing a few pussies and waving around his dick to all the airstrikes the last two Presidents authorized.

In reply to by Tallest Skil

Laowei Gweilo Planet ZOG Fri, 01/05/2018 - 21:39 Permalink

I didn't forgot those actions, just I don't think they're quite the same as new bombing campaigns or invasions. 

And I didn't forget the war mongering -- I called it dick waving. Cuz that's most all it's been.

I think there's a disturbing trend right now about how Trump's dickwaving (that isn't actually killing anyone) is somehow worse than how often Obama or Bush actually killed thousands ... Says to me Americans care more about appearances than casualties o.0

In reply to by Planet ZOG

OverTheHedge Laowei Gweilo Fri, 01/05/2018 - 04:05 Permalink

I read this article, mostly thinking that it is a silly premise, and sillier writing. I don't often abuse the authors (because I would quite like them to continue writing), but making sweeping statements about Trump's personal motivation, moral choices and ethics, as though these are fully documented and open source, is, as I said, silly.

Then, the assumption that there will be no consequences to nuking North Korea, either diplomatic or military. Really? I can see The Rest Of The World treating the US as a pariah, cutting off all trade and diplomacy. The actual war will have destroyed most of the world economy anyway (do we think western banks could survive the destruction of South Korea, and possibly Japan?), so it is not as if there will be much economic hardship in cutting off the mad dog. A few sunk aircraft carriers would also concentrate the mind, and North Korea has more submarines than the US (although possibly not as expensive or fun to work in as the US version).

Would Russia sit still to become the next on the list? Would the Chinese agricultural system collapse due to fallout? I think no to both (the choice between starving today or perhaps dying of cancer next year is straightforward).

I am confident that the one thing we can all agree on, is that post a nuclear North Korean war, the world will not carry on as if nothing ever happened.

In reply to by Laowei Gweilo

Shemp 4 Victory OverTheHedge Fri, 01/05/2018 - 05:51 Permalink


I read this article, mostly thinking that it is a silly premise, and sillier writing.

It's an excursion into delusion and fantasy. Did the author forget a disclaimer that the article is a speculative depiction of a warped perception of reality on the part of Trump? Or is the author writing from Ward No. 6?


Brutally speaking, the only real consequence that the US would suffer from nuking North Korea is the death of its South Korean-based compatriots as "collateral damage"

Only delusional people can believe that. No hard feelings should have risen from the US treachery? No unanticipated and potentially irreparable environmental consequences?

The author must come back to reality.

Would Trump Nuking North Korea 'Make America Great Again'?

Only in the sense that it would make America the all-time greatest mistake of humanity.

In reply to by OverTheHedge

Precious Hawk Tallest Skil Fri, 01/05/2018 - 05:01 Permalink

"Would indeed".

Except for unintended consequences. When does the rest of the world come together and beat up the bully?

Can't you already feel the polarising affect of this this warmongering by the USA?

What the USA and UK have done in the middle-east has not been hidden from the rest of the world as it has been hidden from the US readers.  Only those that bother to seek the truth on the internet understand the gravity of the current situation.

Most people I talk to simply reel off the rubbish from the MSM as if they investigated it - that is the scope of their investigation, the MSM.  You'd better believe that propagander still works.

Europeans still think the bummer did a good job and they worship billary.  No matter what you show them, they are in complete denial and take their MSM over the internet news, even if from other MSM based sites.

I really want to think that Trump is a crafty tactician.  Sometimes it feels that he leads his enemies by the nose, giving them the rope to hange themsleves.  I so hope that is true, and the sooner the better. 

As for his twittering, I think it is a master-stroke.  Slowly, people are getting the feeling that he talks to us at our level.

But, just as we were all fooled to some extent by the global-warming scientists, we are being faced with a concerted effort by the neo-liberal (read communist) professors.  Can you not see that it was not by accident that these professors all have the same doctrine?  They were cherry-picked.  They are now going to double-down on the "Trump is a nutter" CAMPAIGN AND THE PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE IT.


In reply to by Tallest Skil

shining one Rjh Fri, 01/05/2018 - 04:21 Permalink

Seeing as your comment was a complete waist of space, I'll take the opportunity to say something of 'actual' interest.

We see in the news(RT) today, that NK and SK are to hold talks and that the two largest military drills ( "defensive") in the world ( up too a million men) held on NK door step will be postponed, for the olympics. This is just another indicator that the entire years worth of FEAR conjured up by your governments and media are completely false. Imo, ALL world leaders are CONTROLLED.

 Zero Hedge, was also talked on Crosstalk, giving it a glowing recommendation. Expect a huge influx of new viewers.

In reply to by Rjh

gregga777 Gen. Ripper Fri, 01/05/2018 - 04:55 Permalink

Totally idiotic article. I didn't bother reading past the first paragraph. Only an insane leader would start a nuclear war because it would be suicidal. Our leaders and other nation's leaders are certainly amoral but hopefully not insane. If they are insane we are all certainly fucked. 

These doom and gloom articles are so tiresome. I grew up living on or near USAF Strategic Air Command bases (nuclear-Armed B-47 and B-52 bombers, nuclear-armed missiles) during the Cold War. They were always considered priority Soviet First Strike targets. I was also an Aerospace Engineer that worked on designing Strategic Nuclear systems like the MX "Peacekeeper" missile, the B-2 Stealth Bomber, etc.

But, we are still here after more than 70 years with "The Bomb" hanging over our heads. Just another day at the office as far as I'm concerned. 


In reply to by Gen. Ripper

gregga777 Gen. Ripper Fri, 01/05/2018 - 05:03 Permalink

The idea of a "nuclear launch" button is a very clumsy and misleading metaphor. Do these morons really believe that Red nuclear launch button is really on the President's desk? Oops, my sexytary just sat on the Red button! Shit!

A complex series of coded orders have to transmitted to various launch control centers for missiles, to bomber bases for aircraft and to ballistic missile submarines before anything can be launched. That is, unless a nuclear First Strike has decapitated the command structure. In that case, individual commands have procedures to launch assuming that any are left. Certainly many of the ballistic missile submarines would be able to retaliate. Just one boomer could make either Russia or China into a radioactive wasteland. Three or four Trident D-4 missiles with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV) would totally annihilate North Korea. I'm sure that everyone knows those facts, too. 

In reply to by Gen. Ripper

Aussiekiwi Fri, 01/05/2018 - 02:20 Permalink

Its not just a case of Trump leaning over and pushing a button, there is an entire series of checks and balances that must be adhered to.


This article is a waste of space, thats 5 minutes of my life lost forever.

New_Meat Aussiekiwi Fri, 01/05/2018 - 05:50 Permalink


"know your enemy, know yourself, in 100 batttles you will never be in peril." --some old dead guy said this.

This is part of the rather poorly orchestrated campaign to convince the moonbat community that the current POTUS has lost his marbles.  I heard that the idiot psychiatrist from the wannabe world's most perfect university even got a wrist slap from some professional organization.  You know, the one who's been saying that Trump is off his rocker for the past year or so.

In reply to by Aussiekiwi

shitshitshit Fri, 01/05/2018 - 02:21 Permalink

The only winning move is not to play. 

This applies perfectly to nuclear war because nobody can win it. 

The don is bluffing Kim and tries to push him to make a mistake. 

I suspect Kim knows this already, and uses it to buy time. In other terms the biggest impotent of all is the Don here. 

JasperEllings Fri, 01/05/2018 - 02:27 Permalink

Stopped reading at the 2nd paragraph.

Trump's words did not "hint at the prospects of carrying out a preemptive first strike."

Assume the rest of the article was equally BS.

ChaoKrungThep Fri, 01/05/2018 - 02:29 Permalink

A few faulty assumptions:

1. Trump is an impotent clown. None of his great orders has come to pass. His real orders come from his handlers, who want domestic confusion and distraction while they loot the country.

2. Trump has no authority to launch a first strike. 

3. KJU is 100 times smarter than the Clown and will not commit national suicide with a first strike against US or SK forces.

4. Destruction of NK would mean destruction of SK which would indirectly damage the US economy.

5. The US's infrastructure, workers' skills, production techniques would take decades to bring the US back to world competitiveness. Forget it. The US future is available for preview - visit Honduras sometime. 

6. The smart people in DS who actually run the country, not the fool in the Oval Office, will not allow a war that has negative economic repercussions and also might not be won.

So relax, the Clown has a few more hoops to jump through then he'll be led off-stage to a cage.


I am Groot Fri, 01/05/2018 - 02:32 Permalink

Anybody that openly threatens the US with destruction probably means it. Diplomacy must be run until it totally fails. Then they should be wiped out by any means necessary with no mercy until they unconditionally surrender.

07564111 I am Groot Fri, 01/05/2018 - 02:49 Permalink

Do you see what I do here pindotard ?

Anybody that openly threatens the Russia with destruction probably means it. Diplomacy must be run until it totally fails. Then they should be wiped out by any means necessary with no mercy until they unconditionally surrender.

Anybody that openly threatens the China with destruction probably means it. Diplomacy must be run until it totally fails. Then they should be wiped out by any means necessary with no mercy until they unconditionally surrender.

Anybody that openly threatens the Iran with destruction probably means it. Diplomacy must be run until it totally fails. Then they should be wiped out by any means necessary with no mercy until they unconditionally surrender.

In reply to by I am Groot

LetThemEatRand Fri, 01/05/2018 - 02:40 Permalink

As Patton said (or so Hollywood claims) when he defeated Rommel, "you magnificent bastard, I read your book!"

Trump also wrote a book.  He's posturing.  Get over it, Oriental Review.  By the way, isn't that racist now?  Oriental review?

Freedumb Fri, 01/05/2018 - 02:44 Permalink

As if the multitude of South Koreans who have family ties to North Koreans and view the land as being Korean would tolerate a "buffer zone" built upon inhabitability of the place caused by nuclear weapons. Even though the South Vietnamese and North Vietnamese were at war for so long, the people always deep down both wanted reconciliation on both sides. Stretching the concept of realpolitik way too far with that suggestion that you could nuke North Korea into a "buffer zone".

JailBanksters Fri, 01/05/2018 - 02:46 Permalink

Trump has created his own PR nightmare

Everybody knows NK capabilities are grossly over stated, if Trump strikes first without provocation then the USA is seen as War Mongering A-hole yet again. If Trump backs down, he will appear to be weak A-hole and decrease the chance of the USA ever invading another small country.

Invade or not Invade, what to do, what to do.

Victor999 Fri, 01/05/2018 - 03:04 Permalink

"However much some people may wish, it is unlikely that Russia and/or China would go to nuclear war against the US over North Korea, especially in the event that Pyongyang used nukes first (whether justifiably or not), and in spite of the long-term radioactive fallout that could devastate their two countries (China much more so than Russia in this case)."


Is this author fucking kidding us?  Neither China nor Russia would retaliate if faced with "the long-term radioactive fallout that could devastate their two countries"?  In that event they would unload on the US, considering the US actions to have been an existential threat to their respective existences.


Jeez!  Where do these people come from who think that nuclear war can be safely waged?

Conscious Reviver Fri, 01/05/2018 - 03:18 Permalink

Over the top idiotic article based on the title alone. If the US nukes N. Korea, expect massive incoming ordinance onto the US mainland. Other states will conclude with good reason that they will be next in line to suffer such a first strike and react accordingly. 

So it won't happen. 

JimmyRainbow Fri, 01/05/2018 - 03:30 Permalink

what a piece of shit article.

no reasoning in that direction in need here, the karma consequences will be everything but not what this piece of crapwrite tries to intelectualize. a new nuke war will be a 9/11 event with a shitload of totally unintended consequences.

to win a nuke war against nk not 1 or ten nukes are sufficient. more 100 to 500. and russia and china will not accept that pile of nuke-bs near their borders.

not to mention that even the "weak" nks my have 1 or 2 totally unknown surprises for the muricans here.

trump the master negotiator dreams of fifth element ....


Scanderbeg Fri, 01/05/2018 - 03:33 Permalink

China has already said they would back N. Korea in a "pre-emptive" strike so the assumption they would do nothing in this fantasy article is bullshit.

And Trump will do nothing as well.

Because there really is no military solution nor would there be any broad support for a protracted war in Korea. 

Nor could the U.S ever nuke N. Korea pre emptively without catastrophic consequences regionally, internationally and domestically.

And who is this author kidding?

The Generals are in charge and would make this decision not Trump.

sheikurbootie Fri, 01/05/2018 - 03:37 Permalink

Is it still okay to fucking hate "news journalist"?

Trump says a lot of things to make the midget minded small brain people from simpleville to think he's irrational.   The reality is he's negotiating with countries and their leaders.  The MSM and retarded liberals will never understand Trump's genius. 

The objective is peace at all cost.  We want out of Korea.  The US has been ready to fight a war there for 70 years.  This one military event has costs us trillions. 

Trump will end the war and reduce troop levels to near zero saving the US taxpayer untold BILLIONS.  The guy is a genius. 

How many stupid President's have we been through doing the same thing over and over?  Giving concessions, financial and humanitarian aid to DPNK year after year, decade after decade.  Trump is making it all look quite easy. 

Just wait until he solves the illegal immigrate situation in the US.  That's going to be a doozey.  Trump will make solving it look easy too.