Is it Time to Take the Next Step with North Korea?

kim-jong-un

In the wake of North Korea’s latest weapons test, analysts say the communist regime is closer than ever to having intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities. This development mandates that America’s political leaders formulate a series plan to counter the growing threat.

Few nations in the world are as dangerously unpredictable as the rogue nation of North Korea. Since 1948, when the Korean peninsula was separated into the communist north and the democratic south, North Korea has been itching for a fight with anyone and everyone, especially with their sworn enemies South Korea and the United States.

Lately, tensions have reached a fever pitch. Kim Jong Un, the nation’s erratic leader has continued to expand the nation’s military presence, and push for advances in the country’s nuclear capabilities. This presents a conundrum for the United States and our allies. Do we let North Korea continue to become more and more of a threat or do we address the problem here and now?

On the one hand, the last Korean war took the lives of 2.5 million people. A second Korean war is something that everyone (except perhaps North Korea) would rather avoid. On the other hand, though, if Kim Jong Un is allowed to continue testing nuclear weapons and ICBMs, he’s eventually going to succeed. North Korea’s recent, embarrassing missile failures certainly did not mean the end of their efforts as exemplified by a successful test firing last week.

Pyongyang’s weapons are already capable of reaching South Korea and Japan. If we allow the day to come where Kim Jong Un is able to reach cities in America with a nuclear missile, the results could be catastrophic.

The question is then whether Kim Jong Un would actually go as far as to launch a nuclear attack (or chemical attack, seeing as Pyongyang has an estimated 5,000 tons of chemical weapons stockpiled). Unfortunately, the answer to this question is a resounding yes.

Kim Jong Un has already shown that he is willing to kill without remorse. If, for any reason whatsoever, he feels that South Korea or any of its allies are presenting too much of a threat to his continued power, no option will be too extreme.

To make matters even more complex, the people of North Korea are not our real enemies, nor are they really to blame for Kim Jong Un’s behavior. In fact, it is the people of North Korea who have suffered the most atrocities at the hands of their leader.

Currently, it is estimated that over 200,000 North Korean people are serving sentences inside Nazi-style death camps. If a second Korean war were to break out, these people who would suffer the most as they are forced to fight for the very government that is oppressing them.
What then should be done about the rogue nation of North Korea? Short of a costly and devastating war, there are aggressive options the Trump administration can take to help neutralize the threat that North Korea presents.

Strict sanctions against any nation that provides the supplies Pyongyang needs to further its nuclear aspirations could send a strong message about the consequences of aiding North Korea, and hopefully cripple Kim Jong Un’s ability to build more missiles and warheads.

The Trump administration has already seen some success in turning countries against North Korea, even those who consider themselves to be allied with Pyongyang. Recently, Chinese president Xi Jinping promised President Trump that he would aid in denuclearizing North Korea.

Other options exist to set back North Koreas missile program, including making use of cyber attacks to debilitate and frustrate North Korea’s scientists at every turn. The Bush and Obama administration did this with Iran, and several sources suggest that these same activities are already being implemented against North Korea.

Of course, an assassination of Kim Jong Un is also not out of the question. In April, Breitbart reported that Seal Team Six was undergoing training exercises that simulated an operation where they killed Kim Jong Un and destroyed Pyongyang’s nuclear stockpile.

The problem with assassination is the power vacuum it would create. In all likelihood, Kim Jong Un would likely be replaced by another dictator, perhaps one even less predictable and more dangerous.

In the meantime, the United States needs to continue bulking up its missile defense. Senator Dan Sullivan has put together a plan calling for a 30% increase in missile interceptors, and the U.S. recently moved an advanced THAAD missile defense systems into South Korea. Actions such as these may not stop North Korea’s nuclear advances, but they do help nullify them.

Trump is taking notable steps to stand up to Kim Jong Un’s posturing, but he must be prepared to make much more unpopular decisions if Pyongyang continues to behave as it does.

~ Liberty Planet