On July 4, 2017, while Americans celebrated their independence, North Korea made a show of force with a reportedly successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test. A day or two later I published an article regarding how the U.S. should respond. The article discussed the option of sanctions, which I never believed China would even go along with, and the potential effectiveness of such sanctions. Surprisingly, the U.N. Security Counsel voted unanimously earlier this month to impose sanctions against North Korea, following a bill signed by President Trump regarding new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.
The measure by the U.N. is expected to have an impact on exports from North Korea to the tune of about a $1 billion and also bans the hiring of North Korean workers by other countries. Four North Korean businesses, including one major bank, have been blacklisted and travel bans put into place. The Security Counsel apparently believes that a strangling of funds flowing to North Korea will be enough to delay, if not put a stop to the regime’s quickly developing ballistic missile and nuclear weapons industry.
There is really no surprise as to Kim Jung Un’s response to the sanctions that were passed by a vote of 15-0. He has threatened revenge on the United States for what he calls a “violent violation of our sovereignty” and part of a “heinous plot to isolate and stifle” the country. President Trump responded with strong words, and a warning to Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea, stating “[T]hey will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.” Kim Jung Un has responded to President Trump’s comments with additional threats of a plan to target Guam, and of course the U.S. mainland. Democrats, and Senator John McCain (who by the way, voted with democrats on healthcare) have wasted no time in condemning President Trump’s harsh warning to North Korea, claiming he is pushing us into war, yet they quickly forget that it was under the Democrats’, both Clinton and Obama, feckless foreign policy and handling of North Korea that led to their current nuclear capabilities in the first place.
It was in 1998 that North Korea test fired their first long-range missile, and in 2006 conducted their first nuclear test. In 1994, under the Clinton administration, North Korea announced it intended to withdraw from the nuclear nonproliferation treaty that required non-nuclear states to abandon development and/or acquisition of nuclear weapons, under the agreement North Korea agreed to freezing its illicit plutonium weapons program in exchange for financial aid. This agreement collapsed in 2002 and North Korea had withdrawn from the treaty by January 2003.
Following the collapse of this agreement in 2002, North Korea claimed that it had withdrawn from the NPT in January 2003 and once again began operating its nuclear facilities. By this time George W. Bush had taken office and through a series of negotiations involving several nations, in 2005 North Korea agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs. It was 2007 when the parties agreed on a series of steps to implement the 2005 agreement and North Korea’s return to the NPT. In 2009, after Obama took office, talks broke down and North Korea has since stated that it would never return to the talks and is no longer bound by their agreements. Since that time, under the Obama administration, North Korea has continued to develop their nuclear weapons program, and yesterday, August 8, 2017, a leaked Defense Intelligence Agency report found that North Korea has produced miniaturized nuclear warheads for ballistic missile delivery, including for ICBMs.
I do not believe that any of us, especially President Trump, has any desire to go to war with North Korea, even more so to get involved in any type of nuclear standoff reminiscent of the cold war. Most of us credit Ronald Reagan with the statement “peace through strength”, this phrase is much older than that and has been used by many leaders since the first century AD. However, this is a difficult task when our military has literally been decimated. In an article b published in The Washington Times on Tuesday, February 24, 2015, Scarborough stated “[T]he U.S. military is shedding so many troops and weapons it is only “marginally able” to defend the nation…” We cannot be so naive to think that the rest of the world is ignorant to the damage Obama has done to our defense capabilities, and that includes North Korea.
That being said, we must also not forget who we are dealing with. Kim Jung Un is ruthless, he is a narcissistic sociopath. Have we not learned from Obama’s weak and incompetent foreign policy strategies that this type of tyrannical dictator does not respond to irresolute threats? I for one feel proud that out President has spoken up, and harshly, against the threats made to our nation and our people. The apology era of Obama is over, thank God, we must show the world, and more importantly those that would seek to do us harm, that we are no longer going to be a weakened nation that simply throws out idle threats with no intention of backing them up. I am in no way advocating for war with North Korea, or any nation for that matter, I, like many of you, have two sons that could very well become casualties of such an action; however, if we do not stand up to bullies like Kim Jung Un, we may all become casualties of an attack perpetrated because our President did not have the fortitude to defend this nation.