Others found evidence of that risk in the State of the Union speech Trump delivered Tuesday night, with parts of it sounding like a case for military action against North Korea. Vox drew parallels between Trump’s address and the one given in 2002 by then-president Bush ahead of the Iraq War. Both speeches included detailed descriptions of the ruling regime’s atrocities accompanied by suggestions that the US homeland could be next.

But Cha is hardly a softie. In his opinion piece, he suggests the US tighten the sanctions against North Korea, bolster its military cooperation with Japan and South Korea, build a “maritime coalition” to intercept ships carrying weapons technology, and continue preparing for military options.

A limited strike, he notes, could also escalate into a much bigger war and put the US population in Japan and South Korea—equivalent to that of a midsize city like Pittsburgh, Pennyslvania—at risk, along with a far greater number of citizens of those allied nations.

Now, South Koreans and others who were reassured by Cha being the expected ambassador have to worry about who Trump will select.

Chances are good it will be someone less willing to disagree with Trump.

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