President Donald Trump has some rather unenviable questions that need answered. One of those questions is just what to do with North Korea in light of China, and to some degree, Russia. Both of those nations have pledged to help the United States stop Kim Jong-un from threatening them with nuclear weapons if Trump promises to stop yearly war games with South Korea. While hitting the U.S.mainland may or may not be a problem for the Hermit Kingdom, at least targeting Hawaii is an option for them, something that the U.S. prepared for by installing THADD in South Korea. However, China is furious about THADD, and have put 150,000 troops on their border to deal with “refugees.” In reality, it is to deal with the U.S. if we deal with NK in a way that they dislike or that threatens them.
It is thought that North Korea has between 10 and 25 nuclear weapons, and considering that only half of them may actually work, that is still a significant threat. They have launch vehicles and many systems in place all over the nation that protect the country in “circular ring” patterns (see video below for clarity) winding around and into the capital, Pyongyang. Also, while North Korea has become recent cyber-warfare masters (since it is all that they can afford to master), they have also stockpiled massive amounts of chemical and biological WMD, as well.
Many of these are easy to produce, cheaply refined, and deadly. There is nothing about Kim Jong-un that implies that he is not evil enough to deploy them, even on his own people, if need be. If he stops, however, he may be able to keep his nation. Vice President Mike Pence has said that the United States would back off, if there is a certain condition that is met.
Bloomberg notes that South Korea is only 30 miles away and the capital there, Seol, is home to over 10 million people. While many would say that America and some NATO force need to deal with this, one outcome would be economic crashes in the now-thriving South Korean nation. Asia, and after a time America, would also be hit by this tidal wave of economic woe. North Korea would attack those in the south and God only knows what he would do to his own people. He may send children on the front line, as Hitler did when cornered, but no one knows for sure. Nuclear weapons would surely fly and no one knows if THADD can best them all. This is even more true should China or Russia start tossing bombs around because America acted against NK.
“Unless you were in a crisis situation where we thought the North Koreans were getting ready to attack us, a preemptive strike against the North Korean nuclear and missile program is simply not a practical option,” is what Gary Samore had to say on the topic. He is a “former White House coordinator for weapons of mass destruction, proliferation, and terrorism” who now works at Harvard University’s Belfer Center, according to Bloomberg. He also stated that “This has always been the problem for the U.S. and our allies.”
Some have seen Vice President Pence’s remarks to seeing North Korea “end hostilities” towards other Asian nations and various other statements to mean that the wine gulping madman could actually keep leadership of his country if he stops making the world so unstable. Kim Jong-un is getting a deal that Kadaffi never got, for example, if this is true. Trump is opposed to nation building, but there is no way that America can conduct one-on-one talks with North Korea “at this time,” according to Pence. As tempers flare, it is hoped that this will change. NOT talking to an enemy is not how Reagan won the Cold War, after all.
Pence DOES SAY that if North Korea “abandons its nuclear program,” things could still change. It may be that the cheese obsessed leader has no choice, for the Vice President has not commented on if America was responsible for besting Kim Jong-un’s last launch attempt. No matter what critiques may say regarding Trump’s administration, between reaching out to China and even tempering down launches, Trump isn’t charging to war here. However, some attention may want to be paid towards the idea of ceasing drills with South Korea as long as China promises to not threaten them nor Japan. With things in the South China Sea so very icy, this may not be an option.
The Vice President did tell Japan that the U.S. “will not relent until North Korea’s nuclear program is gone.” Since NK has been threatening America with such weapons since the first rocket actually worked, it is not as if the U.S. went looking for a fight with the otherwise pathetic country. Still, this statement within the context of whether the U.S. felled North Korea’s most recent missile test is potentially quite telling. Either Trump wants NK to think that the U.S. did it or didn’t. Kim Jong-un is going to claim that it is true regardless, so the administration has nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Finally, some would suggest that the under achieving country should be allowed to have nuclear weapons since so many other nations have them. None of the other nuclear nations tend to get overthrown by America, or so it is often said. Leaked North Korean documents and white papers tell of this being a driving factor in Kim’s crazed obsession with them. Still, other nations do not threaten everyone at every chance given with great fervor. NK seems willing to bomb America, South Korea, Malaysia, and even China (their whole reason for still being around). They have made references to wanting to use such WMD over jokes about his fat appearance.
As a matter of fact, the entire globe allowed them be a nuclear nation and “played fair,” so to speak. What we got for it was a lunatic who has mistreated his people so badly that his crimes rival that of Stalin and Mao. We now have a spoiled brat of a child leading his country into a nuclear war that will quite likely affect us all. No matter what, those days are over. How that is to be so may still be up to Kim Jong-un.