Summer Tensions on the Korean Peninsula

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Tensions between the United States and North Korea always seem to heighten during the summer months. One of many reasons for phenomenon is because the United States, alongside its military allies in the Pacific Ocean, conduct military drills. The North Koreans see the drills as a threat and respond promptly with missile testing. This year was a bit more extreme. Along with testing missiles, the North Koreans successfully tested a hydrogen bomb in August.

China created North Korea as a puppet state so that they could threaten and keep the western powers in check in the East China Sea. However, this plan to make North Korea a puppet as failed miserably. It has gone to the point where the United States Administration has thought of bringing economic sanctions to China. If the United States were to sanction China, the economic and political fallout would be unimaginable. Since Donald Trump does not want to start another financial crisis, he has brought up the discussion of taking away North Korea’s oil. Russia has said that it would be against the sanctioning of North Korea’s oil, as they are most likely their providers.

Xi Jinping and Donald Trump have engaged in a continued dialogue regarding North Korea. (Source: NDTV)

Another bold move made by North Korea this summer was the the launch of a missile that went over Japan and landed in the pacific ocean. This caused many alarms and prompted Japan to ask the United States for the Aegis, a modern missile defense system. With this new system they could shoot down any missiles attempting to leave North Korea. In response, North Korea started moving one of its ICBM (Inter Continental Ballistic Missile). The actions taken by both nations do not help the common goal of achieving peace and stability in the region.

Following the aggression and testing of its newest hydrogen bomb, the United Nations Nuclear Watchdog has declared North Korea a “global threat”. North Korea has been a global threat for a while and will continue to do so unless China and Russia step up and implement the sanctions against North Korea. Until both of these superpowers do what the world has told them to do, North Korea will continue to grow its nuclear armament and its global voice. If these sanctions continue, the North Korean economy will be strained to a tipping point where Kim Jong Un’s own generals will consider a coup.

Even though North Korea has been so blatantly aggressive, there is some reason to it. The last country to give up its nuclear arms was Libya, and after doing so,It was left vulnerable to attacks by NATO and the U.S. Kim Jong Un will never give up his nuclear capabilities because he knows that if he does, he will become a small fat fish in an ocean full of sharks. He wants to defend himself from western expansionism. However, defending himself does not mean that he has complete reason for what he is doing. China recognizes this and has stated that they will not defend North Korea if they strike first, but if North Korea were to be attacked by anyone, they would come to the North’s aid. There is no one solution, and the constant bickering and name calling on both sides have solved no problems. It is up to China and America to find a solution to this monster.

Featured Image: http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/06/politics/mattis-tillerson-north-korea-strategy/index.html 

About the author

Cyrus Motakef is a 16 year old student from Weston, Massachusetts, and is graduating from St. Mark's in Southborough in 2019. He plans to get his degree in Biochemistry and an MBA. Cyrus main interests are computer science, chemistry, and biology. He takes part in Model UN, Debate Club, and Astronomy Club. Cyrus is using the advantages of St. Mark's to better himself and his community.

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1 Comment

  1. Matthew Walsh

    Do you think that the United States’ revitalization of its nuclear triad should be a cause for alarm to other countries? Is it not hypocritical that the U.S. maintains a nonproliferation stance only in regards to the rest of the world?

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