KITCO NEWS - With North Korean state media threatening to launch a "super-mighty preemptive strike," that would reduce South Korea and the United States "to ashes," Gordon Chang, author of the 2006 bestseller "Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World," says there are "bad signs" going forward. Chang stressed that both the U.S. and China need step it up.

"The Chinese government should be doing more -- in that military parade Saturday, we saw what looked like Chinese missiles, so apparently there has been a leaking of technology and we have to ask the Chinese government how the North Koreans got these." He added, "I think the problem right now is that the [Trump] administration has a low threshold to use force, and Kim Jong-un has a low threshold of risk," he said in an interview with Kitco News.

According to Chang, Jong-un may feel his grip slipping and do things to "surprise us." The threat came as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. was looking at ways to pressure North Korea to the negotiation table over its nuclear program. "The most important thing is to get China onboard and we will have to change how the U.S. has interacted with China," Chang said. He explained that the past two administrations of Obama and Bush tried to integrate China into the international system. "[T]hat didn't work because the Chinese took that position and let the North Koreans have time to develop nukes and missiles," he said.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. 

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