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Casualties of war

North Korea tried to sow fear in the hearts of everyone as it again flaunted its nuclear power for the world to see a few days ago.

However, as tensions increased across the globe, North’s attempt to fire a ballistic missile at a military parade was a dismal failure after the weapon blew up five seconds later.

Some people said it was also quite embarrassing for the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, since the missile seemed to have been launched to show his courage as American warships drew near his country to stop aggravations.

US Vice President Mike Pence warned the North of the recent US strikes in Syria and Afghanistan which showed the resolve of President Donald Trump.

A Syrian airfield was struck with 59 Tomahawk missiles by the US Navy after a chemical weapons attack. The US military dropped “the mother of all bombs” on a network of caves and tunnels used by the Islamic State in Afghanistan. The attack on Afghanistan was supposedly the largest non-nuclear bombing it had ever launched in combat.

Speaking a day after the failed missile test, Pence and South Korean acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn said they would reinforce anti-North Korea defenses.

But the North’s leader appeared unfazed by Trump’s display of power. A North Korean news agency conveyed a letter from Kim to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, stating his strong support to and alliance with the Syrian government while condemning US violence against them.

An official from Tokyo earlier warned that if they get attacked by bombers or bombarded by warships from the North, they would fire back.

North Korea had conducted several missile and nuclear tests in defiance of UN sanctions. It supposedly developed and would launch a missile that could strike the US mainland, which American officials believe is not close to impossible.

Where do we fit in all this? Bear in mind that the US remains an ally of the Philippines. We are friends with South Korea and Japan as well.

Our nation is in the middle of this conflict where one wrong move from any of these all-powerful nations at this point can ignite a nuclear war. If one attempts to strike at anyone, there will inevitably be a retaliation whether we like it or not.

And being the poor hapless Juan dela Cruz in the midst of a nuclear conflict, we can only pray for peace and cooler heads to prevail, lest we all be added to the casualties of war.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/ (Robert B. Roque, Jr.)