South Korean troops are on full combat alert in order to respond to any provocations by North Korea following recent missile tests carried out by Pyongyang, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday in a statement.
On Tuesday, a White House official said "time has run out" regarding North Korea's nuclear development, adding that "all options are on the table."
In an interview with Sputnik Korea, Kwak Tae-Hwan from the Korea Institute for National Unification pointed out that American and South Korean media outlets have expressed unprecedented concerns over Pyongyang’s maneuvers.
"By giving the impression of a tense military situation prior to talks with China, the US wants to fuel tensions in East Asia and, possibly, hopes that if tensions remain steady they could have an advantage during the talks," Kwak Tae-Hwan suggested.
According to him, taking into account the fact that nuclear weapons are needed only to prevent nuclear war, the chance of a nuclear conflict between the US and China as well as the US and North Korea is extremely low.
He added that due to the complexity of the matter, during the upcoming talks Washington and Beijing will focus instead on economic issues and are likely to make progress on trade differences.
"The North Korean issue is unlikely to be resolved at the talks. It is too complicated. Progress will be possible only after a new government comes to power in South Korea in May," the expert said.
"This is in the style of Trump. The US and North Korea will not sit around doing nothing. Each of the sides will try doing something it has not done before," Pastreich told Sputnik Korea.
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