All the news about this nuke versus that nuke coming out of North Korea…..all, the rhetoric back and forth…..all the threats fired in the others direction….the situation is spiraling…..
Just how long has North Korea been wanting a nuke?
North Korea has always been an enigma to the western world. They are coined the “Hermit Kingdom” by many Western cultures because of their almost complete shut-out of foreign media. Nevertheless, North Korea makes headlines across the world, and lately, those headlines involve one thing; Nuclear weapons.
There have always been efforts to curb North Korea’s nuclear program through many acts of diplomacy, but North Korea would typically go back on the pacts they made with any country. It was becoming a trend and a tool that they would use to garner leverage in negotiations: fuel, food, or aid of any kind. But now, they have a working nuclear arsenal, and are threatening the very existence of our planet. So how did they get here? Here’s a brief history of North Koreas Nuclear Program.
So North Korea has been testing and doing all the research to acquire a nuke since the 1950’s……they have come to the point now where they are testing nukes regularly and now the research on a delivery system.
Since Trump came to the seat of power the rhetoric aimed at North Korea has become louder and louder…..more mike the Tweets than anything substantial….then Trump goes to the UN and delivers a speech that threatens North Korea with annihilation….now NK has turn the tables…..
In the escalating war of words between the United States and North Korea, the latter just fired a verbal bomb by way of Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho. The Independent quotes the official as telling reporters in New York on Monday that “the whole world should clearly remember it was the US who first declared war on our country. Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to [take] countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country.” It’s not the first fiery statement made by Ri in recent days. More on the situation:
- Background: Ri was the one who previously likened Trump to a barking dog, and in a UN speech on Saturday, he called President Trump “a mentally deranged person full of megalomania and complacency” whose decision to call Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” makes “our rocket’s visit to the entire US mainland inevitable all the more.” Trump responded, tweeting this Saturday night: “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at UN. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”
- Today’s response to Ri: Sarah Huckabee Sanders addressed the subject head-on in Monday’s White House press briefing. “We’ve not declared war on North Korea, and frankly the suggestion of that is absurd.” CBS News has more: “It’s never appropriate for a country to shoot down another country’s aircraft when it’s over international waters. Our goal is still the same: We continue to seek the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. That’s our focus, doing that through both the most maximum economic and diplomatic pressures as possible at this point.”
- “How worried should we be?” That’s the question Joshua Keating asks at Slate. It’s “pretty scary” stuff, he admits, but he cautions against overreacting and explains why. He also points out that “in some sense the US and North Korea are already at war,” as the Korean War of 1950-1953 didn’t end with a peace treaty.
- About those bombers: The AP reports America flexed its military muscle on Saturday as well, with US bombers and fighter escorts entering international airspace off North Korea’s east coast and flying to the farthest point north of the Demilitarized Zone of any American aircraft in the 21st century.
- Who is Ri, anyway? According to a Sept. 16 article in the Atlantic by Joel S. Wit, he may be our “best chance for finding a way forward because of his close ties to the ruling Kim family”; Wit explains why here. The Guardian calls him the “diplomat who could defuse the crisis.”
As the two sides ramp up their rhetoric China has had to step in and sound like the adult in the room……
After a weekend of additional threats traded between the US and North Korea, a top official in Beijing urged both sides to rein it in. The White House and Pyongyang should “not further irritate each other and add oil to the flames of the tense situation on the peninsula at present,” says a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, per Reuters. The plea came after a North Korean official told the UN Saturday that a nuclear strike against the US is “inevitable” because of President Trump’s mockery of Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man.” Trump followed that up with a threatening tweet Saturday night: “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!” (And that’s after Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” the North, and Kim’s reference to Trump as “mentally deranged.”)
Over the weekend, China said it would ban textile imports from North Korea and limit exports of refined petroleum products, but an analysis at the Washington Post asserts that Beijing is still “not prepared to do anything that might bring down the North Korean regime.” Specifically, that would mean putting a full stop to exports of crude oil to the North. “The North Koreans have figured out that the Chinese are genuinely in a bind,” says one expert from the Lowy Institute in Australia. “Having cried wolf for so long about having limited influence, the Chinese genuinely do have limited influence in North Korea right now. It’s not just weasel words.” Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated to British leader Theresa May in a phone call that he thinks the situation must be resolved through new talks.
Of course all this could just be a couple of playground bullies shoving each other….but I am not willing to take that chance.
Someone needs to step in and bring some sanity into the conversation.