Donald “Nuke’m” Trump seems intent on a confrontation with North Korea. If he fires missiles at North Korea’s test sites, he probably will provoke North Korean retaliation against South Korea and American troops stationed there. Even with American troops on the ground and American air support, South Korea will be no match for the army of North Korea. Trump showed eagerness to use nuclear weapons when he was briefed early in his transition after the election. He has dispatched H. R. McMaster to Iraq and Mike Pence to the Western Pacific, two men who might be able to restrain Trump if they were in Washington. If the war in Korea goes badly, and it will, Trump will be tempted to salvage the war by the use of nuclear weapons.
Fallout from the war will drift over Japan and greatly upset the Japanese, who remember Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima. Will the US destroy Korea to save it? The reaction of China is unpredictable. However, the US will be the only nation to use nukes in war and in both cases, the victims were Asians. That is not going to sit well with the international community.