China announced it will remain neutral if North Korea attacks the United States.
While that is extremely good news for America, the country also warned that it would still defend the rogue nation if the U.S. attempted to “overthrow” Kim Jong Un and his regime in a preemptive strike. The Chinese newspaper Global Times reported:
“If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime, and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. has broad support from its allies on responding to aggression from North Korea, according to Fox News.
Japan’s defense minister, Itsunori Onodera, said this week that his nation’s military was ready to shoot down North Korean nuclear missiles, if necessary.
In Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described his country and the U.S. as being “joined at the hip,” the South China Morning Post reported.
“If there is an attack on the U.S., the Anzus Treaty would be invoked,” and Australia would aid the U.S., Turnbull told Australia’s 3AW radio Friday morning. Turnbull was referring to a collective security agreement between the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
President Donald Trump recently promised to respond with “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” if North Korea continues to threaten the United States. He was criticized by opponents for the harsh rhetoric, but the president said on Thursday that maybe his statement wasn't “tough enough.”
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and other military leaders have surely already drafted plans for every possible scenario. Now that China has vowed to stay out of the fight in the event of a North Korean attack on the U.S., Mattis’s playbook might have opened up even more.