American president Harry S Truman, when asked about the major achievement of his presidency, said, “We totally defeated our enemies and then brought them back to the community of nations.”

America traditionally took more pride in her democratic values than her military prowess. All nations that were defeated by the United States in World War 2 and afterwards are today run by democratic governments. Throughout the years America has played the role of moral policemen in the world. United States has delicately kept a balance between its democratic values and Realpolitik. Wherever her interests were in danger she used the policy of coercion.

South Korea is a democracy and economically advance country while North Korea led by a communist regime is economically isolated and is among the poorest countries in the world. In 1950, American forces landed in the Korean peninsula with the objective of halting the advance of communist North Korea and has been there since. Reconstruction in Germany was carried out under the auspices of Marshall Plan. Japan rose from the ruins under the leadership of General Douglas MacArthur. In the current era, America invaded Afghanistan, ousted the Taliban regime and poured billions to reconstruct the war torn country but failed.

Moreover, Washington toppled Saddam in the military offensive 'Operation Enduring Freedom'; the aim of the invasion was to install democracy and neutralise alleged chemical weapons. America like Afghanistan failed miserably in Iraq and currently the country is the hotbed of regional proxy wars. The North Korean leader has threatened to attack American island of Guam. Trump administration has imposed fresh round of sanctions on Pyongyang. China is vital in enforcement of sanctions as 90 per cent of North Korean trade is conducted with China. Beijing will never want a nuclear war in its neighbourhood.

Many analysts have called the situation similar to Cuban missile crisis. Some observers says that the escalation is the Cuban missile crisis in slow motion. The threat from North Korea is imminent. United States has many options to act but there is hardly any option without the risk of destruction. If United States launches a preemptive strike than there is no guarantee that it will neutralise all nuclear launching pads of North Korea and if it fails than the result of the Pyongyang nuclear retaliation will be devastating. North Korea has warned of a nuclear strike on Guam, a tiny island is home to 165,000 people and thousands of US soldiers. The island historically acted as the permanent aircraft carrier for US navy in strategically important region of the Pacific Ocean.

The United States also has a heavy military presence in Okinawa and South Korea. North Korea is located in an area of significant geo-strategic importance. It has access to Sea of Japan in the East, Yellow sea in West and to the North it share a border with Russia. China and Russia have meddled in the affairs of Korean Peninsula throughout the years and the region holds significant importance in the policy making circles of Moscow and Beijing, who have intensified diplomatic efforts to deescalate the situation. Recently Trump withdrew United States from Paris climate change accord. According to Fareed Zakaria of The Washington Post: “This will be remembered as the day the United States resigned as the leader of the free world.”

Trump administration believes that the deal was disadvantageous for United States as it would close factories resulting in increased unemployment. Trump administration is also reviewing American financial contribution to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Besides this Trump's comments have caused outrage in many Pacific countries and many people are protesting against Trump.

Russia, China and United States needs to solve the issue diplomatically. If a war escalates it will result in devastation and destruction. If United States is able to defend itself from missiles, the chances of defending South Korea are minimal as Seoul is in the range of North Korean missiles.

The US once defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and then brought them back to the community of nations under the Marshall Plan and General Douglas Macarthur’s economic rehabilitation. On the other hand, it successfully ousted Saddam Hussein and Afghan Taliban from power but failed miserably in reconstructing Afghanistan and Iraq. The world events indicates that the American unilateralism is in retreat.