Published: Thursday, April 11th, 2013
Last week the new young leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, 30-year-old Kim Jong Un, made threatening statements about launching missiles at the West Coast of the United States and parts of Texas. His remarks were characterized as “bellicose” by our new Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. This word was picked up by several news organizations as well, as they sought to describe the young North Korean leader’s remarks.
Bellicose, according to Webster’s, means warlike, pugnacious, with synonyms of belligerent, quarrelsome, combative and contentious. We think that pretty well describes anyone who is threatening to blow you off the map with his country’s missiles. Whether the North Korean military has the capacity to carry out its threats is another question.
The bigger question has to be why the young Korean leader would be making such threats. What has the United States of America ever done to his country lately? We did fight North Korean and Chinese troops in his country during the Korean War which resulted in a divided Communist North and Democratic South Korea. We still have about 25,000 American troops on the border in South Korea as a deterrent to North Korean aggression.
We also provide an enormous amount of food aid to approximately 16 million of the country’s 24.5 million population in need of food assistance. The country has a harsh climate and experiences regular crop failures which results in starvation of the population. Apparently North Korean leaders believe it is more important to build missiles and develop nuclear weapons than to feed the country’s starving population.
Young Kim Jong Un took over the leadership of North Korea following the death of his father, Kim Jong-il in December 2011. Apparently he still has the backing of the military leadership because he is still in charge and is still alive. His threats of aggression seem to be an attempt to be relevant in the ever-changing world.
North Korea is the world’s most militarized country with 9,495,000 active, reserve and paramilitary personnel. The country boosts the fourth largest active military force with 1.21 million, after China, the United States and India. They always seem to be of the mindset that some other country in the world is about to invade theirs.
We can’t take a chance that North Korea is bluffing again in an attempt to get more monetary and food aid for its country. What usually happens in cases like these is that we send in a supply of food in an attempt to diffuse the situation and calm the nerves of its leaders.
North Korea has developed nuclear weapons, but there is a question of whether or not it has a delivery system adequate enough to be a real threat to the United States and other nearby neighbors. We can’t take a chance that it does not at this time have that capability. Now is the time for China to intervene and take a strap to the backside of its belligerent stepchild.
Any conflict that North Korea initiates with another country will have a direct impact on all other countries of the world, including China, who counts on uninterrupted trade to drive its growing economy. We hope China steps forward in this regard and that North Korea can gracefully take a step back and rethink its recent bellicose remarks.
There is no reason for another conflict in that region of the world. North Korea has nothing to gain and everything to lose if there should be another one.
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