Military and intelligence officials are nervously keeping close tabs on activity in North Korea as they prepare for what many experts believe will be a major missile test in the near future. That test could very well be of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach U.S. shores. And for now, all officials are able to do is wait and hope for the best as they “appear resigned to the fact that President Trump has no good options to stop it,” reports the New York Times.
Pyongyang has promised to deliver a “Christmas gift” if there is no progress on easing up on sanctions. But any movement on that front seems nearly impossible at this stage, considering talks with Washington have stalled and the North Korean regime is once again insulting President Donald Trump regularly. As tensions with North Korea increase, and especially if there is a test around the holidays, it would mark a huge blow to one of Trump’s major foreign policy initiatives. And it would happen right as he gears up for the presidential campaign. Some North Korea experts say Pyongyang may be watching the electoral calendar as well. There is speculation that Kim could be using “Trump’s intense focus on his re-election next November as leverage to pressure him into lifting sanctions and striking a deal that favors Pyongyang,” notes Politico. The impeachment proceedings may also make Pyongyang feel that Trump is particularly vulnerable.