So there’s so much in the mainstream news outlets about how North Korea is this “supposed” threat, especially to regions like South Korea Japan and Guam. This threat is said to also be to the United States and other Western democracies throughout the world. That being said, what can we learn from the past and how can we determine how much of a threat North Korea really is?
This is no easy task and it becomes incredibly complicated when taking into consideration the sordid history of North Korea and the United States.
Nuclear weapons are without a doubt a huge threat to humanity as a whole; however the United States is the only nation to have ever used these weapons during conflict in the entire globe. During WWII the United States dropped two nuclear weapons on Japan Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ultimately killing hundreds of thousands if not millions of people though the direct blast and the after effects have killed many more. Nuclear war is something that should never happen, in fact there should be an agreement to ensure that no one nation has weapons that can potentially cause so much destruction.
Seeing as the USA was the only country to actually use these weapons they would be the most likely nation to use them again, so who really is the threat? The United States is telling another sovereign nation that they cannot possess these weapons while they can, is this not hypocrisy? I think it is, and looking into the history of nations that “played ball” with the United States, like Libya and Iraq, we can see that they gave up their weapons programs respectively and we can see the chaos that ensued regardless. Operation Iraqi Freedom led to the demise and overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the plunging of Iraq into chaos, still to this day Iraq is occupied by the United States. Then we can look at what happened in Libya, Gadhafi was removed from power and almost as a direct result we have the refugee crisis and Libya a once rich Middle Eastern country, was plunged into this regime change chaos.
Does North Korea want this for their people? I think not and in my opinion I believe that Kim Jong Un just wants to ensure the survival of his country and from history the only means to achieve this goal is to have a nuclear weapons program, so they can defend against the obvious elephant of an aggressor in the room the United States regime change powerhouse.
It would appear as if North Korea has fallen into the whole “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” mentality of countries that are not aligned with the United States. If one was to revisit the past, especially with respect to the Korean war, we can see that the USA literally killed close to a million people by carelessly dropping bombs on North Korea, this reflects on everything the North Koreans have up to this point worked towards ensuring this kind of atrocity never happens again, they seem to want nuclear ambitions to prevent this from happening again. Can we blame them, have they proven that they are careless, should anyone nation including the United States, Russia and China be able to have these weapons that can potentially and indiscriminately kill millions with a simple press of a button? I don’t think so,
Trump now claims that just recently “this is the calm before the storm” and he seems unwilling to even talk with North Korea. Remember this is the same man who claimed that he was going to “bring home” American troops abroad and it seems at least to me that this was all a lie, as we speak there is a destroyer enroute to North Korea’s coast and the war rhetoric is again heating up, what happened? Did Trump lie like all the other presidents, just to get elected? It would seem so. He has now sent a surge of troops to Afghanistan, is actively talking about scrapping the Iran nuclear deal, and even stoking the fires with respect to China and Russia, this is not the man so many voted for. What happened?
So where do we go from here? Well in all the horrible posturing that seems to be leading us down a dark path, however there is always hope that these are all idle threats and maybe there is some common sense somewhere.
Sanctions are viewed as an option because they can place enormous pressure on trade and in the case of the new round of sanctions against North Korea, their trade partners as well. Sanctions can be used to manipulate and force other nations to the table, but how effective can they be in North Korea’s case?
We can see that oftentimes in our mainstream news outlets we are confronted with constant propaganda about how horrible Kim is and how he starves his people, the deplorable conditions, forced labor camps and rampant authoritarianism rule. If this is the truth and I believe there is some truth, however I also look at the cause and effect on how sanctions have likely been crippling North Korea for a long time, causing and in a sense feeding the isolation of the North Korean regime.
In any relationship sometimes there needs to be compromises. this is also prevalent in international politics, oftentimes there will be a need to form some tough discussions and typically negotiations will take place. Diplomacy has many great benefits and one of the main advantages of diplomacy is reaching an agreement without having to use force. This however requires both a willingness and agreement between two opposing parties, which can be difficult.
Turns out that North Korea has offered more than one time that they would be willing to “freeze” their nuclear ambitions, if only the United States would stop military provocations on their doorstep. This would be the ideal course of action, a compromise so to speak that would ensure peace on the Korean peninsula, however the United States has refused this deal as they are unwilling to compromise in any fashion.
History shows us that thing like sanctions can be effective but only for the short term and only as a means to bring another country to the negotiation table and aid in diplomacy. History also shows us that diplomacy is the only answer to solving conflicts in an ever increasingly nuclear armed global theatre. Things are not getting better and having nuclear weapons has ensured the survival of nations like Russia, China and the United States. Other nations see this and want this to to deter aggression and ensure their survival.
I think that weapons like these should be outlawed in a global scale, there should be a global effort to disarm all nuclear programs so no nation could hold that power over any other, effectively eliminating the need for such powerfully destructive weaponry.