North Korea testing Trump, South Korea’s new president

EDITORIAL

A new missile launch by North Korea on Sunday brought a final note to a disastrous week for US President Donald Trump.

Trump’s dramatic firing of FBI head James Comey was a political sensation in the US and around the world. Issuing a classic “you’re fired”, a cutback to the popular reality TV show he fronted, he dismissed Comey who was investigating his election team’s possible ties with Russia.

It was a sensational move that ranks right up there with President Harry Truman’s sacking of General Douglas MacArthur, although the Missouri mule did have the gumption to do it face-to-face.

The sacking of Comey was yet another surprise and potentially damaging move by an increasingly embattled president.

There are reports congressmen in his adopted Republican Party, who are anxious to retain both houses of Congress, are starting to distance themselves. Other news sources say Trump has become frustrated with his leading advisers and some are expected to suffer the same fate as Comey.

Several more excitable commentators have even raised the possibility of an impeachment trial, on the basis that Trump has interfered with the course of justice and impeded an investigation directed at him. Realistically however that is most unlikely to happen or succeed.

With all this domestic upheaval, Trump could have done without the news that North Korea had launched another ballistic missile — its most successful yet. Japan says this one reached an altitude of 2000km. Defence experts believe the north is working on two types of inter-continental ballistic missiles that could be tipped with nuclear warheads.

The problem for an increasingly unnerved world is that the options remain extremely limited. Any military action against the hermit kingdom would unleash a holocaust on the south.

The situation is particularly disappointing for South Korea’s new president Moon Jae In, who said he would seek deeper engagement with the north. That will not be easy but if he did succeed, even partially, he would be doing the world a favour.

A new missile launch by North Korea on Sunday brought a final note to a disastrous week for US President Donald Trump.

Trump’s dramatic firing of FBI head James Comey was a political sensation in the US and around the world. Issuing a classic “you’re fired”, a cutback to the popular reality TV show he fronted, he dismissed Comey who was investigating his election team’s possible ties with Russia.

It was a sensational move that ranks right up there with President Harry Truman’s sacking of General Douglas MacArthur, although the Missouri mule did have the gumption to do it face-to-face.

The sacking of Comey was yet another surprise and potentially damaging move by an increasingly embattled president.

There are reports congressmen in his adopted Republican Party, who are anxious to retain both houses of Congress, are starting to distance themselves. Other news sources say Trump has become frustrated with his leading advisers and some are expected to suffer the same fate as Comey.

Several more excitable commentators have even raised the possibility of an impeachment trial, on the basis that Trump has interfered with the course of justice and impeded an investigation directed at him. Realistically however that is most unlikely to happen or succeed.

With all this domestic upheaval, Trump could have done without the news that North Korea had launched another ballistic missile — its most successful yet. Japan says this one reached an altitude of 2000km. Defence experts believe the north is working on two types of inter-continental ballistic missiles that could be tipped with nuclear warheads.

The problem for an increasingly unnerved world is that the options remain extremely limited. Any military action against the hermit kingdom would unleash a holocaust on the south.

The situation is particularly disappointing for South Korea’s new president Moon Jae In, who said he would seek deeper engagement with the north. That will not be easy but if he did succeed, even partially, he would be doing the world a favour.

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