Donald Trump's temperament could change the US's relations with North Korea, Mr Flake suggested
Gordon Flake, CEO of Perth USAsia Centre based in Australia, believes the US has historically prevented conflict from breaking out in the region but now that Trump is the US President, he fears there is a greater likelihood of war.
Speaking to Yonhap News Agency, Mr Flake said: "Living for some 25 years in Washington and three years in Australia, I always believed the U.S. intentionally avoided war since it had a broad picture… The US had actually played a role in preventing things from going out of control.
"Under the current circumstances, however, I cannot be sure.
“It is unlikely that the US takes a pre-emptive strike but what is concerning is what reaction Trump will take in case a person like Kim Jong-un provokes even inadvertently.”
America and South Korea prepare for war against North Korea
Tue, April 11, 2017
U.S. and South Korean marines participate in the endurance exercise in temperature below minus 20 degrees celsius under a scenario to defend the country from any possible attacks from North Korea.
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While Mr Flake believes previous US administrations would have undoubtedly consulted with allies before launching an attack on the hermit state, he is yet to be convinced that President Trump will not attempt to take on Kim Jong-un alone.
Mr Flake added: "Until five years ago, and even last year, I could have assured you not to worry. I was sure that the US would seek joint strategies with its allies before taking any action. I hope it will continue to do so but I am not sure 100 per cent.”
Satellite images show Kim Jong-un escalating nuclear action
Wed, April 12, 2017
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New satellite images show in great detail how Kim Jong-un is escalating North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.
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Figure 1. Activity continues at the North Portal
Mr Flake, who has written extensively on North Korea, reiterated claims from China that the best way to deal with the threat from Kim Jong-un is through diplomacy, rather than military force.
He concluded: “We should keep working on the diplomatic front, cooperating with the international community and applying more pressure on the North.”
The news comes after claims the US is ready to launch a preemptive strike against North Korea if they fear a nuclear weapons test is imminent, according to senior US intelligence officials.
Whether Trump will consult other nations before launching a strike on North Korea remains to be seen
Satellite images have revealed “unusually high levels of activity” at Kim Jong-un’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site.
Experts say the images could mean a nuclear test is “imminent” as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called for North Korea to destroy its nuclear arsenal.