Tensions between North Korea and the U.S.rose this week and the threat of nuclear war is now fresh in everyone’s mind. If you listen to the podcast, you’ll know that it’s a possibility, but not a likely possibility. North Korea threatens the world then asks for aid instead of firing nukes. They have failed missile test after missile test. What we saw this week was an attempt to con the latest president into giving them aid, only it didn’t go as planned. Trump responded to the threats by saying he would retaliate against any aggression. This sent the left into an anti war craze and for the right to rally behind the flag and the President. This reaction is silly if you know some history. The question still remains, how did we get here?
The U.S./North Korea timeline stretches back to the 50s, but I only want to focus on the chain of events that occurred over the last 30+ years. To understand recent events we need to go back to 1985 when North Korea, along with several other countries signed the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. The goal of the treaty was to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and focus more on diplomatic relations. Fast forward to 1994, where Bill Clinton got North Korea to sign an agreement in which they would close down two nuclear reactors, and then they would receive aid. The aid came in the form of two light water nuclear reactors. When W. Bush got into office he declared North Korea part of the infamous “axis of evil”. He didn’t do much with Korea until 2003. In 2003 North Korea withdraws from the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. In 2005 they declare they have weapons. Throughout most of the later half of the 2000s there was a dance between sanctions on North Korea, aid to North Korea, and inaction.
From about 2010 to present, North Korea tested weapons with little or no success. They made slow progress until 2016, when they announced that they could miniaturize nukes to fit on ICBMs. For the first time in awhile it appeared North Korea might actually pose a threat. As recently as July 4th 2017, North Korea claimed that it had ICBMs that could reach any where in the world, which may be true, but it us unlikely. That brings us to August 8th 2017 and Trump’s fire and fury comment. To answer the question I asked at the beginning of this column, “how did we get here?” We got here though a series of sanctions and diplomatic messes. Trump, unfortunately has inherited this mess.
Where he differs is that he doesn’t like being threatened, and when he is threatened he feels he must look tough. It’s the tough guy routine we all witnessed in high school, or at MMA fights. Trump made his position clear, he won’t give aid or be pushed around. It is clear North Korea over played their hand. It is also clear that Trump over reacted. I have no issue with the President retaliating against the North Korean’s if they attack us. Defensive wars are ok in the libertarian book, although not preferred. It will never come to that though, look at the series of failed missile tests, and history of saber rattling. The timeline doesn’t match the rhetoric be tossed be the left and right. Kim Jong Un is not an irrational actor. Despite his growing influence, he isn’t desperate or stupid enough to attack the U.S. Not to mention the tough sanctions, China, Russia, and the U.S.are now imposing on him are going to affect what money he has to spend on weapon research. Your Facebook friends are wrong, history and current events prove it.