Sixty-three percent of likely U.S. voters believe the United States will soon “take military action against North Korea,” a new Rasmussen survey revealed Friday.
Perhaps coincidentally, Rasmussen’s Daily Presidential Tracking Poll said Friday that support for Donald Trump is up six percentage points from a week ago, to 45 percent. Last week, Trump’s approval rating was at 39 percent, Rasmussen said.
Sabers have been rattling all week on both sides of the Pacific. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has been behaving as though he were trying to goad America into a fight. Trump’s reactions have been blunt, suggesting that if Kim wants to push his luck, it will soon run out.
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As a result, the stock market has tumbled, pundits all over the political landscape are having fits, and the situation seems to be getting more tense by the hour.
According to Rasmussen, 75 percent of survey respondents “agree that North Korea is a vital national security interest for the United States these days. Only 16% disagree.” That’s a much higher ratio than those who think Syria is a vital national security interest, Rasmussen noted.
On Thursday, North Korea reportedly threatened to “test fire” ballistic missiles in the direction of Guam. How does someone “test fire” a ballistic missile? As any firearms instructor will observe, when a gun is “test fired,” a bullet is sent downrange and it hits something. Ballistic missiles are bigger, but the principle still applies.
As the New York Times explained, “On Thursday…North Korea raised the stakes by saying that it was considering a plan to test-fire four intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missiles in international waters near Guam, home to American air and naval bases as well as a Thaad antimissile system.”
The newspaper quoted Christine Wormuth, identified as “the Pentagon’s top policy official at the end of the Obama administration. Her assessment: “I can’t underscore enough how unappealing all the military options are. This wouldn’t end well. The U.S. would win, but it would be ugly.”
North Korea’s bluster continued Friday morning, according to the Daily Mail, “Pyongyang’s KCNA agency warned America that it is a ‘tragedy that the reckless and hysteric behaviors may reduce the U.S. mainland to ashes any moment.’
“The ranting statement said that it was the country’s ‘steadfast will…to put an end to the hostile moves of the U.S. which has imposed misfortunes and sufferings upon the Korean people for over half a century and win the final victory in the stand-off with imperialism and the U.S.’”
While all of this is going on, diplomats are apparently scrambling to head off any irrevocable actions on either side. This has all the drama of the Cuban missile crisis during the Kennedy administration. Cool heads eventually prevailed, but that was in another time, before “fake news” and Twitter and competing, hostile media were part of the mix.