Trump visits South Korea as nuclear standoff with North continues

Trump visits South Korea as nuclear standoff with North continues

US President Trump will begin his one-night stay in South Korea today to talk strategy on North Korea with his

South Korea Trump

Photo: Woohae Cho/Getty

US President Trump will begin his one-night stay in South Korea today to talk strategy on North Korea with his counterpart, Moon Jae-in. Skipping the DMZ, Trump will visit the US garrison at Camp Humphries and address the South’s National Assembly.

Demanding the North’s complete denuclearisation last week, the US conducted bombing drills in the South’s Pilsung Range training area, while three US aircraft carrier groups patrolled the Asian-Pacific – the largest US force projection in a decade.

While the North hasn’t tested any missiles since early September, South Korean intelligence suspects one is imminent, given communication channels have been cut off.

With the whole world watching, a Trump gaffe could seriously threaten what former UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon has described as “the worst security situation since the end of the Korean war”. Given the apparent competition of escalation between the two leaders, a North Korean missile test during– or immediately following–Trump’s Asia tour could be employed to scuttle or undermine talks.

Delve deeper: Beyond armageddon: US policy options in North Korea

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