WTF Is Going On in North Korea?

By: Kaitwan Jackson

Since 2006 North Korea has joined the list of countries with “working” nuclear power. One decade later, and the country has furthered its nuclear capabilities to devastating proportions. North Korea has almost harnessed the ability to attach nuclear devices onto their Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM); missiles that may reach the United States before President Trump’s first term ends. 

one of North Korea's ICBMs, photo via  VOA News

one of North Korea's ICBMs, photo via VOA News

The growing threat of North Korea has not led to any preventative measures by the United States. The United States has taken the defensive, and all dialogue regarding North Korea proves the US is not interested in peaceful resolutions. 

  • President Trump has said, “they [North Korea] will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power. The likes of which this world has never seen before.”
  • Defense Secretary James Mattis says issues with N. Korea could “escalate to war.” 
centered is North Korea's Kim Jong Un, photo via  Evening Standard

centered is North Korea's Kim Jong Un, photo via Evening Standard

These uneasy feelings have emerged partly because N. Korea announced it is examining plans to fire missiles around the US territory of Guam. Should N. Korea initiate a missile strike on or surrounding Guam, it would be the countries 13th test launch during Donald Trump’s presidency. This strike will inevitably lead to a war with the N. Korea; if adhering to the words of Defense Secretary Mattis. President Trump’s philosophy and remaining support certainly will be challenged if war is declared. 

The issue of war is that N. Korea has nothing to lose. They have already politically and socially isolated themselves from the rest the world. The country has established large numbers of troops that are waiting for command from their Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un. A country unopposed to letting its citizens starve and imprisoning people in inhumane conditions is definitely unopposed to starting a nuclear war. 

On the other hand, the United States could potentially risk a lot in the process of declaring war. North Korea is situated closely between two allies of the United States, Japan and South Korea. The threat of North Korea’s attack on US allies has helped prevent the US from making drastic decisions. But this could soon change if N. Korea launches near Guam.

The US is currently aware of many of N. Korea’s weapons locations, but an attack on these locations will have devastating repercussions. A weapons attack will incentivize N. Korea to attack Seoul (South Korea’s capital) due to its closeness to the border of North Korea. 

Peaceful interaction may be the US’s best hope toward curbing a nuclear war with N. Korea. Accepting that N. Korea is a rising nuclear power will benefit the US. Through this understanding the US can better advise N. Korea on how to harness and safely utilize their newfound nuclear power.

Kaitwan JacksonComment