China has announced it will remain neutral regarding its position with North Korea (DPRK) unless the United States preemptively attacks. This, the culmination of a long week’s battle of words flying back and forth between President Trump and Kim Jong Un over North Korea’s threat to launch missiles with nuclear warheads near Guam, a U.S. territory with approximately 300,000 occupants, both citizens and military.
What has changed in recent history regarding the power of North Korea?
George W. Bush referred to the relatively small nation as one of the countries in the Axis of Evil, which also contained Iran and Iraq. Bush kept the U.S. focused on the triad, but primarily honed in on the Mideast, due to the prevailing threat of terrorism, especially after 9/11. North Korea failed to honor a negotiation with the U.S. and five other countries to stop development and testing of nuclear weapons during Bush’s presidency.
Under Obama, the DPRK developed a nuclear test, and the U.S. quickly imposed sanctions. Obama tried to hold negotiations with Jong Un to stop development of nuclear weapons, but that attempt failed. However, in 2012, Jong Un agreed to stop testing missiles in exchange for food deliveries. It’s no secret that the population of North Korea is underfed.
Bill Clinton actually helped North Korea’s research and development of nuclear power.
Clinton’s administration successfully established a deal known as the Joint Framework Agreement which offered $4 billion worth of nuclear, energy, economic and diplomatic benefits in exchange for the halting of North Korea’s nuclear program in 1994. The deal also included two light-water nuclear reactors, which were believed to be more difficult to use to make weapons than Pyongyang’s plutonium reactor.
“This agreement will help achieve a longstanding and vital American objective — an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula,” Clinton said at the time.
But just as Clinton failed to nail Bin Laden, his presidency has long passed and the situation in DPRK has now landed squarely in the lap of Donald Trump. His lack of diplomacy and ability to restrain from knee-jerk verbal responses and tweets is disconcerting on a global scale. He is, in essence pushing the envelope, and taking the bait of the lunatic dictator halfway around the world.
The United States has never been an aggressor.
We have, especially since Ronald Reagan, been able to demonstrate peace through power. To even entertain the thought of a preemptive strike would set in motion a course that would likely lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and maybe millions of people; a war that may not end for years and devastate the world.
When people on social media began to come out of the woodwork and proclaim that the United States needs to take action against this bombastic dictator in North Korea, do they realize what the implications are? Do they know, along with Donald Trump, that our military is not prepared to enter into a war? Enlistments are down, weapons systems, though undergoing updates, are still not up to speed to counter a multiple missile attack on our soil. All it would take is for one to get through. Just one.
And yet, some conservatives have decided that Trump, in all his ranting and tweeting to egg on a nation that has been brainwashed into hating us in much the same way as Iran does, is justified in doing so. All of his history of instability suddenly is meaningless. They want war and they want it now.
North Korea has resorted to aggressive rhetoric in the past,” Derek Bolton, Political Science Professor at the University of Bath told news.com.au.
“Their threats often seem very alarming, but most North Korea observers, and I’m sure diplomats, quickly learn to take threats of turning Seoul into a ‘Sea of Fire’ not too seriously. I think it is a strategy that has been used by North Korea, which is essentially an economically weak country with a fairly antiquated military, to leverage its influence and get what it wants.
Professor Bolton said what is new —and potentially very dangerous — is the participation of a US President willing to match North Korea’s threats.
The comparison may be made to how many Americans felt AFTER the 9/11 attacks. We all wanted retaliation. But against who? And how? Bush waited for what seemed like too long before going to war with Iraq and searching for those elusive WMD’s, and he will never live it down. If Trump pro actively pushes the button on an attack on North Korea, it will make Bush’s decision look like miniature golf in the Gulf.
One way to reconsider how absurd wishing wholeheartedly for a preemptive attack would be is to imagine that – the U.S. reinstates the draft for all men and now women with no children (for equality) between the ages of 18 and 30. The chest thumpers will suddenly think of their children, or grand children, or maybe even themselves. It’s easy to play “BANG, YOU’RE DEAD!” from a Lazy-Boy. It’s a little different standing at the DMZ in South Korea, scared out of your wits.
Going forward into an uncertain future, I strongly believe that prayer is the best option, and one of my prayers is for the Lord to stabilize, any way He sees fit, the speech of both Trump and Jong Un. After all, what’s at stake is much more than two playground bullies yelling back and forth. It is the future of our children.
Janice Barlow is a true crime author. She also recently had a fiction book published about Daisy, one of her Greyhounds.