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Will the US launch a nuclear first-strike on N. Korea in 2018?

Question

Ever-heightening rhetoric on both the North Korean and US side is creating a dangerous situation in North Korea, with both sides flat-out threatening to obliterate the other last year.

There has been some potential movement in the (surprising) acceptance by Trump of an offer to meet with Kim Jong Un.

On the other hand, John Bolton, the recently appointed National Security Advisor, is notoriously hawkish, and the removal of Rex Tillerson, has left many analysts deeply worried.

While most analysts believe that an unprovoked nuclear strike is unlikely, there are concerns about many pathways to an steady escalation that could lead to a significant conventional or even nuclear war, as outlined in this sobering article.

We'll ask here about the worst case scenario (or among them):

Will a US-led military nuclear first-strike occur in N. Korea by the end of 2018?

Resolution is positive if a US nuclear weapon detonates on or over N. Korean territory and North Korea has not detonated a nuclear weapon outside of North Korea first. Resolution is negative otherwise.

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