• 5 hours Permian Still Holds 60-70 Billion Barrels Of Recoverable Oil
  • 10 hours Petrobras Creditors Agree To $6.22 Billion Debt Swap
  • 14 hours Cracks Emerge In OPEC-Russia Oil Output Cut Pact
  • 18 hours Iran Calls On OPEC To Sway Libya, Nigeria To Join Cut
  • 20 hours Chevron To Invest $4B In Permian Production
  • 21 hours U.S.-Backed Forces Retake Syrian Conoco Gas Plant From ISIS
  • 23 hours Iraq Says Shell May Not Quit Majnoon Oilfield
  • 3 days Nigerian Oil Output Below 1.8 Million BPD Quota
  • 4 days Colorado Landfills Contain Radioactive Substances From Oil Sector
  • 4 days Phillips 66 Partners To Buy Phillips 66 Assets In $2.4B Deal
  • 4 days Japan Court Slams Tepco With Fukushima Damages Bill
  • 4 days Oil Spills From Pipeline After Syria Army Retakes Oil Field From ISIS
  • 4 days Total Joins Chevron In Gulf Of Mexico Development
  • 4 days Goldman Chief Urges Riyadh To Get Vision 2030 Going
  • 4 days OPEC Talks End Without Recommendation On Output Cut Extension
  • 4 days Jamaican Refinery Expansion Stalls Due To Venezuela’s Financial Woes
  • 4 days India In Talks to Acquire 20 Percent Of UAE Oilfield
  • 5 days The Real Cause Of Peak Gasoline Demand
  • 5 days Hundreds Of Vertical Oil Wells Damaged By Horizontal Fracking
  • 5 days Oil Exempt In Fresh Sanctions On North Korea
  • 5 days Sudan, South Sudan Sign Deal To Boost Oil Output
  • 5 days Peruvian Villagers Shut Down 50 Oil Wells In Protest
  • 5 days Bay Area Sues Big Oil For Billions
  • 5 days Lukoil Looks To Sell Italian Refinery As Crimea Sanctions Intensify
  • 5 days Kurdistan’s Biggest Source Of Oil Funds
  • 6 days Oil Prices On Track For Largest Q3 Gain Since 2004
  • 6 days Reliance Plans To Boost Capacity Of World’s Biggest Oil Refinery
  • 6 days Saudi Aramco May Unveil Financials In Early 2018
  • 6 days Has The EIA Been Overestimating Oil Production?
  • 6 days Taiwan Cuts Off Fossil Fuels To North Korea
  • 6 days Clash In Oil-Rich South Sudan Region Kills At Least 25
  • 6 days Lebanon Passes Oil Taxation Law Ahead Of First Licensing Auction
  • 7 days India’s Oil Majors To Lift Borrowing To Cover Dividends, Capex
  • 7 days Gulf Keystone Plans Further Oil Output Increase In Kurdistan
  • 7 days Venezuela’s Crisis Deepens As Hurricane Approaches
  • 7 days Tension Rises In Oil-Rich Kurdistan
  • 7 days Petrobras To Issue $2B New Bonds, Exchange Shorter-Term Debt
  • 7 days Kuwait Faces New Oil Leak Near Ras al-Zour
  • 8 days Sonatrach Aims To Reform Algiers Energy Laws
  • 8 days Vitol Ups Cash-for-Oil Deals With Kazakhstan To $5B
Alt Text

OPEC’s No. 2 Faces Civil War Threat

Just as the threat of…

Alt Text

Will The White House Prevent Rosneft From Buying Citgo?

The potential Rosneft purchase of…

Alt Text

Russia And Saudi Arabia Are Becoming Unlikely Allies

Due to Donald Trump’s unpredictable…

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

More Info

How Will North Korea React To Trump’s Posturing?

Trump Pence

This morning, Vice President Mike Pence stood 100 feet from North Korean soldiers in the Demilitarized Zone to declare his administration’s newest departure from established American foreign policy.

"We're going to abandon the failed policy of strategic patience,” Pence stated, situated in the middle of the Korean peninsula’s rivalling states. “But we're going to redouble our efforts to bring diplomatic and economic pressure to bear on North Korea. Our hope is that we can resolve this issue peaceably.”

Pence’s visit came just hours after U.S. and South Korean officials confirmed a failed missile launch by North Korea on Sunday following a showy military parade for the country’s Day of the Sun celebrations.

As pointed out by New York Times reporter David Sanger last month, President Donald Trump is perhaps better briefed about tensions with North Korea than any other international situation, likely due to a pointer from his predecessor President Barack Obama. The first month of the freshman politician’s agenda saw more meetings about the Asian showdown that any other single national security issue.

In the days leading up to the vice president’s visit, Trump’s tweets urged China, North Korea’s main international ally, to negotiate with Pyongyang regarding the country’s nuclear ambitions.

“I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea,” the president tweeted, following a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will! U.S.A.”

Trump’s message reverberated in foreign and American news media. U.S. “allies” in East Asia – a category dominated by Japan and South Korea – had been incorporated into hinted military action, presumably without prior consult. Related: Who Holds The Power In Today’s Oil Market?

American foreign policy since the Korean truce of 1953 has been to support the existence of the DMZ to prevent direct conflict between the fiefdom of the Kim family and one of the most vibrant economies in all of East Asia.

The capital of said economy, Seoul, sits right next to the demilitarized zone, making any nuclear “solution” to the North Korean regime detrimental to the livelihoods of millions in the region. The economic carnage of a non-nuclear “mother of all bombs” (MOAB) attack—akin to the one carried out in Afghanistan last week without Trump’s direct authorization—on the Korean peninsula would pale in comparison to the massive loss of innocent North Korean lives.

President Trump has been getting increasingly friendly with U.S. military weapons systems over the past couple of weeks. The president’s authorization of a 59-missile attack on Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad airfield created somewhat of a media frenzy that included an interview at the Fox Business Network, in which President Trump stated that all 59 missiles “hit”, while General Joseph Votel, who heads U.S. forces in the Middle East, confirmed that only 57 hit the mark.

Less than a day after the attacks, Assad used the attacked airfield to launch strikes against his regime’s dissenters – counteracting Trump’s claims that the operation had been a success.

This failed military action by the new administration makes the escalation of tensions with North Korea even more concerning, as outlined by a flurry of expert opinion on the peninsula’s pains.

Some called for the continued support of Seoul against Pyongyang, but without the belligerent use of social media that could instigate inadvertent military mobilization.

“It would be risky for Mr. Trump to let overconfidence and bombast, expressed in tweets and public statements, box him into some kind of showdown with the North’s ruthless leader, Kim Jong-un, who has displayed similarly macho traits,The New York Times Editorial Board said on Monday. “South Korea, Japan and even Russia have urged both sides to avoid a devastating miscalculation.”

Others suggested an abandonment of South Korea, in favor of spending time and manpower to develop stronger relationships with the rest of Asia. Related: Iran Ready To Join OPEC’s Production Cut Extension

“The Korean Peninsula has lost its geopolitical significance, South Korea its helplessness and America’s Korea commitment its purpose,” Doug Bandow of Foreign Policy, claimed in his opinion piece for Foreign Policy last week. “While there is much to criticize in the approach of Donald Trump's administration to the rest of the world, the president correctly sees the need for a foreign policy that more effectively protects America's interests.”

Bandow points to the U.S.’ outdated presence in South Korea as a key cause of the country’s stagnant military prowess. If American forces were to withdraw, it would push Seoul to develop its defense and return the status of the Korean conflict to a local dispute, instead of the superpower struggle with China it has become. The nuclear concern with “irresponsible” North Korea would likely be curtailed by Beijing, which is equally as unenthusiastic towards Pyongyang’s nuclear program as is Washington.

North Korea’s response to Pence’s posturing so close to the DMZ remains to be seen. As of this article’s writing, the DPRK news service’s Twitter feed still boasts the national elections’ “100 percent legitimacy,” compared to the constitution-altering polls in Turkey that were “marred by graft.”

The ball remains in North Korea’s court.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • BEH on April 17 2017 said:
    Oilprice.com should, IMO, refrain from political commentary, particularly on issues completely unrelated to oil.
  • Naomi on May 05 2017 said:
    North Korea has a sixty year history of threats and ankle biting. South Korea has one of the best five armies in the world with eleven fine divisions on the border. USA has two armored divisions in Korea and enough air power recently deployed. Three US marine divisions are on call. Two US mechanized divisions are on call. Australia, Philippines, and Taiwan are being recruited to provide air power and combat troops.

    USA has amazing technology. Modern artillery is mobile, accurate to one meter on the first shot. Able to calculate the destination and shoot the origin of an artillery round before it lands. Anti missile technology is more impressive yet.

    China declared the Korean peninsula must be nuclear free. The way is clear to attack North Korea and pull the little dog's teeth.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News