If you’ve been listening in on the most current events regarding the relationship between the United States and North Korea, then you’re probably aware that tension between the two nations is very high. With the introduction of the United States’ new stance on our communications with North Korea concerning its leader’s dictatorial behavior comes more bomb threats and “saber rattling,” courtesy of Kim Jong Un. Richard Morthland, Speech professor at Black Hawk College and former Republican Member of the Illinois General Assembly, shares his opinions about the United States’ communication with North Korea. As it stands, Kim Jong Un’s favorite method of communication mostly consists of “saber rattling”–basic, elementary intimidation. As a matter of fact, Korea used to be a much more unified country. It wasn’t until bullies like the Kim Jong family got power that the country became so divided. “There has been conflict between North and South Korea ever since there became a North Korea,” says Morthland. “Korea is one country, it’s one people. They have one language, one culture, except that the North is led by these dictators [and] is trying to insert itself on the world’s stage. Part of the way they’re doing that is by saber-rattling.”
One of Kim Jong Un’s most recent cases of classic saber-rattling is firing missiles over Japan. The end goal, just as it’s always been, is to terrify not just the country he’s firing these deadly weapons over, but the entire world.
Crying “wolf,” or in this case “nuclear weapons,” isn’t very effective for the dictator. It turns out that most of the world has turned against him, including North Korea’s once most powerful ally, China. “The leader of North Korea is definitely trying to play a game intending to intimidate the rest of the world,” explains Morthland. “Basically the entire world, even their staunchest ally, China, has backed off.”
Now that we have a different president in office, the stance our administration has taken to handle North Korea’s terrorization of the world has changed drastically. In the past, the U.S took a far less stand-offish approach to “dealing with” the leaders of North Korea. “The U.S has had a history of, for lack of a better term, ‘buying them off’. They [make] a lot of noise; we send them a lot of money,” explains Morthland. Now that that administration has seen some extreme changes, especially in leadership, our communicative efforts with North Korea have also changed. “Presidents in the past have basically bought them off, and this one is trying to chase them away… Let’s put it this way: everything else we’ve tried hasn’t moved the ball. A new stance is worth considering,” says Morthland.
Should we be concerned for our safety, though? The Kim Jong family has been threatening to unleash their deadliest nuclear weapons upon the inhabitants of the United States for years, but they haven’t done much to back their threats up. According to Mr. Morthland, the possibility that Kim Jong Un has access to powerful nuclear weapons is high, but there really isn’t any way we can know for sure. He says, “They claim that they have nuclear weapons, and I think most people believe that they probably have had enough time to do it, and they’ve been working with Iran—another rogue state. So the both of them have been trying to advance their capabilities.”
One thing is for sure, though–we really shouldn’t be taking any chances with a man such as Kim Jong Un. The development of nuclear weapons in North Korea is very concerning to the United States because “It’s a fair chance they could get pretty desperate, because they don’t have much,” states Morthland.
It’s evident that our leaders’ past endeavors with North Korea haven’t been successful in diffusing the tension between the two nations. President Trump’s different approach in “dealing with” the rogue nation could prove very successful, or it may create even more friction. We’ll just have to wait until this currently unfolding political plot pans out in due time. Either way, if the the United States of America is indeed in danger like some critics claim, we most likely have more than enough capability to protect our people against an attack.
In the meantime, tell us what you think of Trump’s much more stand-offish, zero-toleration approach in the comments.