Israeli intelligence believes that the developing crisis between the United States and North Korea will last a very long time and that its potential to erupt into a full-fledged conflict is high. According to this assessment, President Donald Trump will increase pressure on Pyongyang in a series of stages, all the while trying to coordinate his moves with the Chinese as much as possible. In Israel's estimation, Trump used his meeting with his Chinese colleague April 8 to request China's help in bringing about North Korea's disarmament from nuclear weapons. If you fail to do that, Trump told the Chinese leader, we will have to do it ourselves through other means.
It remains unclear as to how much the Chinese will cooperate and provide the goods, and it is even more unclear whether Trump will go all the way and use force, but initial indications regarding China's cooperation are hardly positive. On April 26, the Chinese responded negatively to reports that the United States is planning to deploy a battery of THAAD anti-ballistic missiles in South Korea. As stated in an earlier Al-Monitor article, when Trump first entered the White House, the Israeli assessment was that the North Korean issue would capture first place in the list of issues to which the new administration would be devoting its time and energy.