Sunday, March 6, 2016

North Korean Threatens Nuclear Strike

North Korea has responded to the joint U.S. -South Korean military exercises by threatening a nuclear strike. However, is was expected for North Korea to react this way, as they have shown their ability, or their thoughts on the world perspective of politics. For example, they have tested missiles on February 8, 2016, which they have publicly announced to be a hydrogen bomb (3). Not to mention, they have also sunk the South Korean warship Cheonan on March 26, 2010, with no public apology (4).

Currently, the status of weapons of mass destruction in North Korea is not known to a specific enough for there to be large public arousal. Over and over again, tensions between North Korea and the UN/South Korea have been gradually increasing. However, between the magnitudes of the missiles tested in 2013 and 2016, it seems that has stayed around the same.

As of now, US and South Korean militaries will be working on “two exercises 'Key Resolve' and 'Foal Eagle,' which will run until April 30.” (2).

I feel that the global community does not need to take a more active stance in regards to North Korean foreign policy. Yes, they have tested missiles and nullified truces and negotiations, but in the grand scheme of things, they have not done widespread damage such as set of a series of terrorist attacks in America.

Does imposing more sanctions cause North Korea to act more rebellious?

What do you think about what the global community should do in regards to North Korea foreign policy?



Jack Loar said...

I disagree and think that the global community should do more to prevent North Korea from becoming a threat. The leaders of the country do not seem to understand the consequences of their actions because they have never faced any fallout from anything that have done. The international community needs to do more to prevent North Korea from gaining more powerful nuclear weapons and actually threatening South Korea. Stricter sanctions should have been enacted years ago when North Korea first started to develop its nuclear weapons. However, it was not as possible then because of the relationship between North Korea and China. Since their latest round of nuclear testing, North Korea and China have become more distant and China now approves of the use of sanctions on North Korea.

The biggest problem I see with sanctions on North Korea is that it will affect its citizens more than its leaders. The living conditions in North Korea are already horrible as it is and it would be difficult for the citizens to deal with much more. The leaders are likely not affected by the sanctions as much because they can just take anything else they need from the citizens. Nevertheless, sanctions are the only way to punish North Korea for their actions so it can be difficult to determine what to do even if everyone agrees that a punishment is in order.

Nick Jadallah said...

I agree with Jack that tougher sanctions on North Korea will only make conditions worse for citizens. The very strong, nationalistic culture (forced as it may be) will make it very difficult for any kind of leadership change. That isn't to say that other countries woudn't be justified in restricting North Korea even more. The big question is: Will even more sanctions/restrictions make any kind of difference that is worth it? North Korea threatening South Korea is nothing new, but it has never really acted on its threats. Even if North Korea did have the ability to do serious harm to South Korea, or the US for that matter, would it actually go through with it? Any physical attack on South Korea (and obviously the U.S.) would prompt a swift, forceful response from the militarily superior United States. It would almost be suicidal for North Korea to do anything except threaten. Kim Jong-Un is still a relatively new and inexperienced leader, and that may possibly change things, but I doubt it. Over time, North Korea is isolating itself further and further. It is a sad situation. Let's see how it plays out.
Good post.

TJ Bonbright said...

North Korea does not seem to be a real threat to the U.S. at the moment. While they have shown progress in development of their nuclear arsenal, theirs pales in comparison to that of the U.S. and its allies. Sure, North Korea has threatened the U.S. in the past, and they will continue to do so in the future; however, as Nick pointed out, engaging the U.S. in such a manner would be devastating for North Korea. Therefore, an attack by North Korea seems unlikely.

However, despite the low chance of North Korea attacking the U.S., it would not by in the best interest of the U.S. or the rest of the world to ignore its threats. You can never be 100% sure that Kim Jong-Un will never decide to engage in nuclear warfare with another nation. If we ignore North Korea entirely, it is possible that some day down the road we will be blindsided by a nuclear attack. We would look back on today and kick ourselves for neglecting to face this issue in a serious manner. That being the case, I think that while more sanctions may not cause much to change, it is important that we do not disregard these threats as if nothing has happened. No actual damage may have been done yet, but to keep the U.S. as well prepared and as safe as possible, it is necessary to take North Korea's threats seriously.

Adjon Tahiraj said...

Does imposing more sanctions cause North Korea to act more rebellious?
Yes imposing more sanctions does cause North Korea to act more rebellious because it makes them feel powerless and as if the outside world is controlling them. I think the only reliable what to make sure to take control of this situation is through United States invading North Korea, overthrowing the dictatorship, and destroying/taking away any potential harmful weapons. But obviously this a preposterous idea that will never happen.

So since sanctions don't work, and we have no real way to force them into doing what we want them to do. The only other option is to impose sanctions that we know will have no effect, and continue to keep a close eye on them and see what they re doing and be ready to react if something drastic happens.

Juliana Stahr said...

I do believe imposing sanctions is not the best strategy when approaching the conflict that the United States has with North Korea. I do not think we should create more controversy, but rather ignore these "threats" that keep reoccurring. In addition, countries do not have to much control over North Korea, so I strongly believe that sanctions would be completely useless.

The global community should simply ignore North Korea. People should not get involved with North Korea foreign policy. Like I mentioned earlier, we have very little control over North Korea and I believe changing their foreign policy would only create more tension. On Thursday, North Korea fired two short-range missiles into the sea to "liquidate" South Korean assets that we left behind in North Korea. Clearly, tensions are boiling and now is not the time for the U.S. to make any kind of appearance as this will only put our nation in more danger.

Last time the United States intervened with a dictatorship, we had to deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis. This long period which took place in the early 60's led to a stoppage of trade with Cuba and other horrific outcomes that ruined Cuban relations with the United States. I believe it is time that the U.S. finally stops intervening in other countries unless the country is one that we have strong diplomatic ties to or is affecting our nation.


Elliot Quan said...

I still believe that North Korea will continue to be treated as a joke until they do something so grievous that the international community will react strongly (WWIII???) or until a change in leadership occurs that allows them to emerge from their peculiar dome of isolationism. But until they start firing nuclear missiles, perhaps there's nothing to be done that hasn't already been done. It would be rather preemptive for military action, and further sanctions are not going to convince them to open up to the rest of the world until their entire population begins to die out (which then might not even prompt Kim Jong Un to action).

I think a bigger question of what to do lies in the citizens of North Korea. Many of them still subscribe to their glorious leader (out of coercion or actual admiration), but many also suffer from continual human rights abuse. Do we allow these abuses to continue, or do we intervene as we've done in the past? At this point, the only thing that we can do besides denouncing North Korea is to actually intervene, which then raises the question of how far we can go to "civilize" another sovereign entity, which I personally don't believe to be the correct approach despite the abuses that continue to occur. But if these questions were easy to answer, this problem would have been solved years ago, but alas - North Korea will remain the laughingstock of the world until something drastic happens, and hopefully we'll have seen it coming.

Daniel Jun said...

Let's face it. Nobody really views North Korea as a threat. What it is viewed as, however, is a crime against humanity; a nation that allows its people to starve and slave away. Where the hatred of South Korea and the United States runs so deep that the current generation has been indoctrinated into a mindset of alienation and hatred. Are sanctions provoking North Korea into more acts of violence? Well... yes. And then we get escalation until one day someone has his finger over a big red button saying "Nuke" on it and thinking to himself "well so and so did this and that to me so now we'll be even."

Sanctions won't work. Because what will they do? Take away food? That's just taking away food from the peasants, farmers, and laborers, not government officials. Let's take a look at Cuba. Despite multiple attempts to convert Cuba to democracy, or at least away from communism, they all failed. Because idolatry of a single leader leads to extreme conviction and the refusal to bow down. Imperialist Japan and Cuba act as testaments to such a claim.

I don't see what sanctions will really do besides hurt the common folk of that nation. So instead... wait for Kim Jong-Un to die? Or invade North Korea? But what is the point in worrying about the common people when a war or conflict would almost certainly end up with countless innocents slaughtered, as farmers and the like are forced to take up arms and defend the North Korean regime? Rather than finding a solution, I have merely repeated a conundrum that has played out through my mind for years. Nothing works. So should we just do what I said earlier and hope Kim Jong-Un dies of a heart attack?

Meghan Hilbert said...

I believe what makes North Korea behave so rebelliously is their attempt to make themselves appear very powerful. Their culture is very behind technological advances such as nuclear weapons and space, and other countries know their weaknesses. For years, Kim Jung-Un has been trying to come off as being powerful, intelligent, and intimidating, but has never truly succeeded. However, I do agree with Nick J that sanctions would have a negative affect on Korean citizens. The government in North Korea is very hostile, and does not handle punishment well. They would most likely bring more suffering on to their citizens.
I believe other nations should continue doing what they're already doing: ignore. By reacting to North Korea's statements, countries are giving them the attention that they crave. They should continue to remain calm and look the other way, until they obviously look like they might do something harmful.

Rachael Howard said...

Although North Korea has yet to do something "awful" to the point where we have to take action, they are now starting to show more aggression through the bombing of the South Korean ship. I feel like this Korea's actions in a way mirror the threat of nuclear weapons in Iran. I think we do have to take North Korea seriously and not take them as some joke. I feel like if we take them as a joke that they will have something to prove and no one wants to see how they will prove it.

Tara Young said...

I agree with Rachael. While they have not created widespread damage, they are a serious threat. By threatening the US and South Korea they have shown how aggressive they can be. I believe that if they are incited enough that they could actually attack creating widespread destruction and chaos. Therefore, we should be cautious in regards to stronger stances in Korean Foreign Policy as not to anger them, but also continue to try to end the tension between the countries, if possible.

Nevan Samadhana said...

As Jack stated above, I agree that imposing heavier sanctions on North Korea will only lead to worse conditions for its people which are already abysmal. Food shortages are a big problem and I think that the global community should be focusing its efforts on assisting North Koreas citizens and making living conditions better instead of punishing its leaders. I believe that as a nation we should continue to keep a close eye on them and not treat them as a joke.