The North Korea non-issue

By LUKE WATHEN

Staff Writer

North Korea, a nation that has long had an antagonistic relationship with the United States, has been in the news a fair deal lately following their testing of a nuclear missile. In a political era where almost anything is possible, many are wondering if such aggressive actions from North Korea are likely to spur an all-out conflict with the U.S.

Despite these fears, a war with North Korea is highly unlikely. The reasons for this are plentiful and can easily be outlined by looking at the country’s past 20years of blunders.

In 1994, America and North Korea both signed an agreement that would give North Korea oil and economic aid in exchange for the country dismantling their nuclear weapons program. In 2002, however, it became apparent that the country had no intention of discontinuing its nuclear program, effectively rendering the 1994 agreement moot.

Since then, North Korea has stayed on the world’s radar due to their infrequent, yet alarming nuclear missile tests. The U.S. is unable to act decisively against these perceived threats, however, due to the country’s strong ties to China, a major trading partner for the U.S.

What is worth noting about these tests is that they are always failures; none of the missiles launched reach a proper altitude and are thus unable to be any real threat to the U.S. In other words, North Korea is simply flexing its anemic muscles and hoping that the world trembles in fear.

Following the most recent missile test, North Korea has not only shown that their nuclear program is an embarrassment, but reminded the world that their leadership is as well. The government-controlled media of North Korea issued a statement denouncing  not only President Trump, but the Chinese government as well.

While it is no surprise that Trump and the U.S. were the target of a verbal attack, it is shocking to see North Korea lash out at their only ally on the international stage. It is difficult to say what the future relations will be between the nations, but suffice it to say that North Korea may very well find themselves completely isolated in an increasingly globalized political arena.

North Korea, though the subject of rightful scrutiny and contempt, is by no means the threat that some fear it to be. Despite its frequent threats to the contrary, their nuclear program is laughable at best and their threats for a major conflict are empty at best.

Coupled with their uncalled-for antagonism towards their only ally, China, the country is effectively signing its own death sentence. For now, it is safe to say that North Korea is best described as a non-issue.

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