On Tuesday, September 19th, President Trump stated “Rocket man is on a suicide mission” at the United Nations General Assembly. Trump claimed, referring to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and according to NBC News “the president warned that he may be forced to “totally destroy” the rogue nation.” This situation has now turned into no laughing matter causing for it to be put up to the highest urgency.
Expansion of Military Program
Over the last six years of the 33 year old tyrant’s rule the missile tests conducted, 84 in total, have exceeded the sum of the amount done of previous dictators, Kim II Sung and Kim Jong II. The North since February has fired twenty-two alarming missiles as part of the fifteen tests they have conducted to expand their military program, directly threatening America. Though the true question is why would North Korea look to destroy the free world.
The story begins during the Cold War. During this time, North Korea was allied with the former Soviet Union to provide defense against democratic South Korea, who was, and still is, protected by the United States. The USSR in this time provided the North with nuclear energy sites for them to become more advanced. When the Soviet Union fell in the 1990s, North Korea’s only trading partner left was China. So hypothetically if the South, with the aid of the United States, attacked North Korea, the North would not be able to defend themselves. As a result, North Korea turned this nuclear energy that they received from the Soviet Union into weapons as a source of defense. This has now been emphasized under Kim Jong Un as military spending North Korea rapidly has increased in order to decimate the United States and other western powers.
The United States and South Korea have been in a close alliance ever since the 1950s in the Korean War to limit the spread of communism throughout the world. After the brutal fight came to a standstill there were two nations formed, the free South and the communist North. In an effort to protect democracy, the United States vowed to defend South Korea in the event that the North threatened their free enterprise.
North Korea is aware of the alliance knows the only way to have the upper hand is to directly threaten the United States. According to CNN, “…a missile capable of reaching the United States topped with a nuclear warhead is considered to be Pyongyang’s ultimate goal. They want it because they believe the US will eventually try to remove Kim Jong Un from power.” Additionally, if the North has the power to threaten the South’s most powerful ally then the United States will be less inclined to start a war.
What North Korea Can Actually Do
Last year North Korea tested their first successful Intercontinental Ballistic Missile or ICBM for short, on July 4th, threatening American freedom. ICBMs can reach over a distance of 5,500 kilometers and have the capability of reaching close to anywhere in the world. North Korea’s dream of making this missile nuclear could be devastating to the entire world as they are so unpredictable in their actions. Though they are not capable of this yet some experts at CNN “believe that should Pyongyang continue at its current pace, the country could develop an indigenous missile that can reach Seattle and carry a North Korean-built nuclear warhead before the end of Trump’s first term.”
However, ICBMs are not all North Korea has in their arsenal. It is believed that the North has over 1,000 ballistic missiles. Though lucky for the United States most of these missiles are short-range, meaning they can reach anywhere from 30 to 300 miles. However, these missiles can reach South Korea which hosts one of the biggest cities in the world, Seoul. So in the event that North Korea does strike their democratic counterpart, the United States will join the South into war as a result of their alliance. Though the North still has a variety of missile lengths ranging up to 7,450 miles which are all capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. This range could hit some of most heavily populated areas of the world including London, New Delhi, Moscow, and Sydney leading this potentially being a global war.
Avoiding Nuclear War
President Trump has not stepped down on the threats by imposing strict economic sanctions on the communist North. This has been placed in order to limit the North Korean economy so they cannot expand their military program. However, missile tests have still been conducted under these restrictions causing the United States to accept military options as a solution. These include operations to striking missiles during tests even if they do not impose a threat and invading North Korea to dissemble their missile stations. If these missions fail North Korea will strike either Seoul, Tokyo, or even the United States. If that is the case, war will definitely ensue.
The United States has now determined “if North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed,” U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “None of us want that. None of us want war. But we also have to look at the fact that you are dealing with someone [in Kim] who is being reckless, irresponsible and is continuing to give threats not only to the United States, but to all of its allies. So something is going to have to be done.” As of now, no one is completely sure of what is to come of North Korea. Though one can only hope it will not result in war.