Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Like clockwork, the rogue nation of North Korea is rattling its broken-down saber in the direction of the United States. Also like clockwork, our government blusters and poses and warns and makes veiled threats and sends naval vessels to the Sea of Japan. The saber rattling is the same old tune: North Korea is on the verge of dropping a nuclear bomb on the United States.
Have circumstances changed enough to warrant our current fear? Maybe. North Korea has successfully tested a missile capable of delivering a bomb to the continental US. Considering that China and Russia have had that nuclear capability for decades, why is North Korea’s joining of that club so troublesome? Is it only because we are led to believe their leadership is mentally unstable? Have we tormented North Korea so much in the years since the Korean War that they have some political vendetta against us? Since the Korean War ended in a draw, North Korea didn’t lose face and can’t blame us for that humiliation.
North Korea is one of the poorest, most backward countries in the world. Even though it has a large army, any act of aggression from the North Koreans against a US ally would be met with swift and powerful retaliation. The folly of even attempting to nuke the US would mean instant annihilation of Pyongyang by our nuclear weapons. Since no country has dared use nuclear weapons on another country since Nagasaki in 1945, it’s a reasonable assumption that North Korea would be dissuaded by either China, the US, or South Korea before launching a nuclear attack.
The real reason North Korea wants a powerful nuke is the same as it is for the other nuclear nations—self-defense. Mutually assured destruction is the most powerful deterrent on the planet. There are too many reasonable heads surrounding North Korea to let them launch an attack, but having a viable nuke for defensive purposes gives North Korea more leverage for negotiations with South Korea and other players in East Asia, along with the US.
The purpose of all the handwringing by US officials is mostly to keep the populace fearful. If not fearful of North Korea, then fearful of China, or illegal immigrants, or terrorists. Fear keeps the military-industrial complex in business and keeps the tax dollars flowing to it from Congress. We fear North Korea because we’re told to fear them by our leaders. It’s not unlike being told to fear a Chihuahua chained to a tree because it might bite you.
Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-We worry about North Korea for a number of reasons, one of which is North Korea’s development of a nuclear arsenal. America would obviously prefer to work with other countries to solve this issue, but we should be ready to intervene militarily if it comes to the point that North Korea acts in defiance of the United Nation’s Security Council ban of ballistic missile testing and produces a nuclear armed missile that could reach the mainland of the United States.
North Korea is not only a threat to the United States but to others in the region, including South Korea, Japan and China as well as Israel, which has been threatened by North Korea with punishment in the past. President Trump’s policy is to make alliances with these other countries to help restrain North Korea and that is one of the reasons Trump met fairly early on in his administration with both the Chinese president, the Japanese prime minister as well as the Israeli prime minister. He has connected with them all to help forge an alliance to stay connected concerning North Korea and its unpredictable actions and threats.
Negotiations with the North Koreans concerning nuclear proliferation have proven to be of no benefit as an agreement in the 1990s that entailed energy aid for them in exchange for dismantling nuclear weapons development went sour, and because of North Korea’s behavior, the plan disintegrated by 2003.
North Korea simply cannot be trusted. President Trump has acknowledged the circumstances of North Korea’s past indiscretions, and he has not fully stated that any current response to the North Koreans would involve military action, though he did tweet that “the U.S. could have a major, major conflict with North Korea, and that North Korea cannot be allowed to have a better delivery system.”
Trump has not divulged any further thinking on the subject, though he did call the entire Senate to the White House to brief them concerning the North Korean government threats to attack the United States and other Asian counties as well as the missile and nuclear testing intimidations. He is aware that North Korea is attempting to develop a missile delivery system with a nuclear weapon and knows these actions may lead to placing sanctions on the country or engaging in military operations.
Another reason for worry is the well-known world view that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is a mentally unstable, dictatorial leader. His unpredictable nature is what is worrisome as he could one day lay low and the next day launch an attack in the region, imprison innocent Americans or military personnel, or fabricate an international incident. The volatility of a person of Kim Jong-un’s temperament is something of concern to the president and other leaders.
There is also concern and worry with other alliances that President Trump has recently engaged in with the prime minister of Thailand and the president of the Philippines. Both of these men are highly controversial, but they are both expected to aid in the restraining of North Korea, and Trump is more concerned about restricting North Korea than he is with policies concerning these other questionable alliances. In addition, the president has had to forego payment to South Korea for the high-altitude defense anti-missile system installed there, plus China has protested the installation of this system as an affront to regional security. The South Korean anti-missile system and the relationship with the country are of critical importance and priority in the region.
The alliance relationships are worrisome but are part of the strategy to constrain North Korea and if America is going to regain its world-wide leadership, it will have to take risks in engaging with unsavory characters in order to deal with the defiant, petulant and capricious child in North Korea. The worries with North Korea will still remain but perhaps with a network of alliances, North Korea won’t be quite so anxious to retaliate.
Gastonia, NC Correspondent-Why do we worry about North Korea? Well, for starters, how about the fact that it’s run by an inbred lunatic whose goofy haircut and vapid expression have loomed over one of the most bizarrely repressive regimes in the history of the world? Kim Jong Un, whose son will presumably be named Kim Jong Deux, is following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather in turning what could be a perfectly good country into an impoverished cesspool where the citizens regularly eat grass and visits by foreign media are more tightly controlled than Harvard final exams.
And now, boys and girls, Kim’s got missiles! That’s right! Now the Pyongyang Potentate can fill up rocket tubes with his own brand of crazy, top them with explosives and lob them all over the immediate area. Thankfully, at this point most of Uncle Kim’s Fun Tubes blow up shortly after liftoff, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. Sooner or later, he’s going to figure out the recipe for getting a nuclear warhead to sit on a missile that will fly more than 500 miles without exploding, and then the whole world will indeed have a problem.
Thanks to regimes like Syria and Iran, which will buy pretty much any weapon Kim has to sell, he’s got plenty of ready cash to continue the experiments which will eventually result in a mushroom cloud-shaped headache for all of us. China, North Korea’s one remaining ally that’s got reliable electricity, continues to “condemn” and express “grave misgivings” about Kim’s antics, but has thus far refused to actually do anything about him.
So here we have the new World’s Oldest Teenager, mad at everyone and everything, but instead of playing loud music and dyeing his hair blue when he’s feeling rebellious, he lights the fuse on a missile or two. Are you starting to get the picture?