North Korea–a serious threat?

North Korea has been turning some heads lately.



Kim_Jong-Un_Photorealistic-Sketch. From Wikimedia Commons.. 9 January 2015. RFTest1204.

Arianna Akusis, Staff Writer

North Korea is known as a secluded country. Its borders are closed and totally isolated from the world. Though North Korea is separated from the world, they still manage to rile up quite a few countries – including America. Recently, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been sending rather mixed signals about their intentions and whether these intentions should be taken seriously. So, should they?

YES: With the recent talks of possible ballistic range missiles that could reach America, it would be insane NOT to take North Korea as a serious threat. Many people believe that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is all talk, so we shouldn’t worry about them. But these threats aren’t just vaguely saying that the DPRK will declare war; these are threats of nuclear warfare, which our president is not making any better with nicknames for the leader of the DPRK such as “rocket man” in his United Nations speech. By labeling the dictator “rocket man,” Trump has made “our rocket’s visit to the entire US mainland inevitable all the more,” according to the Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho to the UN General Assembly.

But so what, right? As long as it doesn’t hit us, we are alright. Wrong. The DPRK threats have gotten out of hand, much past simple war threats. Ignoring these potent threats and the president tweeting things like “just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!” this rhetoric causes uproar not only among Americans against Trump, but also in the DPRK itself.

Recently, the Foreign Minister of the DPRK put out a statement in response to Trump’s tweet; “Last weekend Trump claimed that our leadership wouldn’t be around much longer. He declared war on our country.” Most people read their statement and laugh, because who actually takes Donald Trump’s tweets that seriously for them to be a sign of war? But it is no laughing matter. If North Korea thinks there will be war, it will be a very hard time trying to convince them otherwise.

Fox News spoke out in response to recent speculation of North Korean missiles being tested in the Pacific Ocean stating “The Trump administration simply cannot allow the DPRK to begin lobbing nuclear weapons across the sovereign nations and use the Pacific Ocean as its own personal atomic testing grounds.” Fox News also says that the Trump administration would have no choice but to “destroy it before it ever goes into the air.” In following this, there could very well be a war. And with the rumored power of weapons from both sides, neither the DPRK nor the U.S. should want that.

In taking North Korea’s threats seriously, we could stop a devastating war before it starts. There is no doubt that if this war does happen, it would be the most disastrous in all of history, and it may even end up starting World War III.

…the involvement of the United States in these threats are indeed scary, but they are nowhere near new

— Arianna Akusis

NO: North Korea is sending threats one after another, and it seems like there is some new controversy with the country every week. One week they threaten war, the next week they threaten Guam, and the next week we hear that they backed out of their threat over Guam. So, what should we take seriously to keep our country safe? Well, for America, almost none of it. People will claim that Trump is ruining us all with his threats to North Korea and make other outrageous statements pointing the finger at our president. But Donald Trump’s threats do not equate war any more than they did last month, or even last year.

The threats made by The Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK) and the involvement of the United States in these threats are indeed scary, but they are nowhere near new. Since the very formation of two Koreas in 1948, there has been tension. The split of the Koreas was only meant to be a temporary boundary agreed upon by the Soviet Union and the United States, but any agreement to reunite the Koreas was impossible with the tensions of the Cold War.

When the United States established a dictatorship in the south, putting Syngman Rhee in control, and then, the Soviet Union made their own dictatorship in the north controlled by Kim Il-sung, the father of the current leader Kim Jong Un. There were not direct threats made. But, the tension between the United States and the Soviet Union spoke for itself. Not only did that tension stay, it created a whole new problem: the conflict between North and South Korea.

Kim Il-sung thought he could solve the problem between their two countries by simply invading South Korea, but American reinforcements stepped in before he could succeed. After the Korean War went on for three years, not one peace treaty was signed, only a cease fire. Even if the DPRK threats seem more potent now because of Trump, they only seem that way because there is so much light cast towards the small country across the Pacific.

Though the chances of a nuclear war with the DPRK are there, they are astronomically low. With the advantage South Korea and the United States have in comparison to the DPRK, even if there was a war, it would be extremely anticlimactic.

Earlier in September, US Defense Secretary James Mattis told of a “massive” and “overwhelming” military response if there were any threats towards the United States. But, if the leaders are all just talk to get the other to step down, there is no threat. In the end, the regime of the DPRK is comparable to a moody teenager going through the infamous angst phase, and anything said by them should be taken with a grain of salt.