21 marzo 2018 - 13:50
Home / Attualità / The US and North Korea: are they victims of the Thucydides’ trap?

The US and North Korea: are they victims of the Thucydides’ trap?

North Korea can be thought to be an unexploded bomb within the international system: this is because it does not match with the current balance of power in Asia.

As a matter of definition, it is also assumable that, amongst the main sub-senses of the concept of security (e.g. Social, Economic, Environmental, Political and Military), the set of events of the last few months have made North Korea a Military threat for the international system.

Precisely, they should have in mind the last week’s ping-pong of menaces of the use of nuclear force between the US President Donald Trump and the North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un.

Better said, the propagandistic menace of the use of force between the US and North Korea is interpretable with Allison’s insights on the Thucydides trap. Indeed, he argues that a conflict between US and China could occur when the latter would have obscured the economic power of the former, so provoking a necessary aggressive reaction by the US to avoid the overturning of the balance of power. If then one applies the Thucydides trap as the key to predict a possible US-North Korea opened conflict, the example of US-China can be extended through the current US-North Korea crisis. By analogy, despite its form remains mysterious, a war between the US and North Korea for security reasons seems to be as likely as one between the US and China for economic reasons. The difference is that, such a Crisis is to be considered rather military than political or economic and this makes the probability of an opened-conflict increasing overtime.

Allison’s understanding is explanatory of the Crisis because its evolution is (so far) following the scheme of the Thucydides trap. In a nutshell, not only a conflict between the US and North Korea can happen, but also it can be sooner than expectable.



A cura di Manfredi Morello



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