Saturday's missile attacks on Syrian chemical weapons facilities shows the world's largest economy possesses the military and the political will to back up warnings it makes, strategists told CNBC. That sends a message of resolve to Pyongyang, which was likely closely monitoring developments in the Arab nation, they argued.
The coordinated bombings by the United States, France and Britain were in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons — toxic agents, including chlorine gas, are said to have killed at least 70 people on April 7 in a city near Damascus. Assad's government denied any responsibility in the incident, but French intelligence indicated Syrian government forces executed the chemical attack.
The airstrikes are proof that the White House will back up talk with action, said Dakota Wood, a senior research fellow specializing in defense at conservative research group The Heritage Foundation.
Western powers drew a red line on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and they acted on that, so "if the U.S. now says that it will not tolerate North Korea's offensive nuclear capabilities, Kim's government will have to take that statement seriously and consider potential military consequences," Wood added.