For several decades, North Korea has been a painful thorn sticking in the side of the UN, testing their patience year after year. The situation really began to escalate in 2005 when North Korea admitted to producing nuclear weapons for self-defense and stated that they weren’t interested in any form of disarmament talks. Over the next ten years, their production of nuclear warheads and testing of long-range missiles have been dealt with through many sanctions and warnings. When these were violated, North Korea escaped additional punishment simply because the three superpowers of the world can’t seem to agree on anything. This has allowed the dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, to threaten America’s allies and brutalize his people for the past six years without any fear of retaliation.
After years of North Korea walking all over Obama and the UN, recent developments suggest that the Trump administration will take a far more aggressive approach. Trump and his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, are taking the North Korean threat very seriously.
Trump has demanded that China use its influence over North Korea since China has done very little convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear program and make peace with South Korea. Despite some tensions between the two, China is usually North Korea’s only ally. Both President Bush and President Obama have condemned China’s silence on this issue in the past, but the Trump administration has taken this condemnation one step further.
As UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, told Fox News on Friday, “There was a soft approach to China in the past presidency and what I can tell you now is we’re going to go harder on China. We’re going to say, ‘Look, if you really are wanting to partner with this, if you really are wanting to stop the nuclear testing that is going on in North Korea, prove it.’”
Considering that China is North Korea’s only ally, it is apparent that China needs to lead the conversation and take a firmer position regarding Kim Jong Un’s behavior.
It is also worth noting that Secretary Tillerson has recently taken a strong stance against Kim Jong Un’s current regime, stating that the past 20 years of diplomacy between America and North Korea has been a failure. In a Fox News exclusive, Tillerson even states that “Nothing has been taken off the table,” when dealing with this out-of-control dictatorship, referencing the possibility of providing nuclear weapons to South Korea and Japan to ensure safety in the area. President Trump has rejected this strategy in the past.
In response to increased US-South Korean military exercises and the Trump administration’s comments concerning the North’s recent decision to fire ballistic missiles into Japanese waters, North Korea is putting overwhelming pressure on the United States government.
In a 170-second propaganda clip released on Monday by North Korea’s state-run media website, Uriminzokkiri, the video depicts an exploding American aircraft, as well as a bomber being shot out of the sky, while a female narrator describes how the United States will fall to North Korea. This is not the first piece of propaganda North Korea has put out that depicts attacks on the United States, but they come at a time when tensions are rising and are pushing the countries closer to taking military action.
Today, Reuters reported that North Korea does not fear U.S. sanctions and will accelerate their nuclear arms program, making it a priority to develop first-strike capabilities, which places the United States in a tough situation.
With both sides now contemplating preemptive strikes, tensions between North Korea and the United States are accelerating at an alarmingly fast rate. With an egomaniac at the helm in both countries, it doesn’t appear that tensions are going to subside anytime soon.