North Korea: Whats Going On?

North Korea in a nutshell


Jonathan Asphaug, Writer

The Lay-Down 

These last few weks have been stressful for lots of the students and staff  at Arapahoe, as the end of the semester is quickly approaching, but nothing can compare to the stress that the government is feeling as US-North Korea relations deteriorate further and further.
Over this last week, we have seen a US. aircraft carrier task force, and a nuclear submarine steam to the Korean peninsula, in response to increasing hostilities from the North to the South Koreans. Kim Jong-un was quick to reply that any hostilities will not be tolerated with, and have been slowly increasing military training and exercises all over the North. Trump has responded to the increasing frequency of NK missile tests with the deployment of US missile defense assets in SK, and then after deployment, said that SK must pay for the deployment of the Missile defense systems, and the SK response has been rather angry.

That said, What is the whole deal with North Korea, and what does it represent strategically?

North Korea is one of the last 5 officially communist countries left in the world, but adheres to the principles of a Socialist State the most compared to it’s counterparts. This whole thing began in 1950, with the Korean War. The North Koreans, backed by the Soviet Union and China, invaded South Korea, and attempted a hostile takeover. The US, with support of the entire United Nations (at the time), Repelled the communists very, very close to the border with China. China felt threatened and sent 500,000 soldiers to repeal the UN forces which fought all the way back to the current DMZ border. It was heavily fortified, and two separate Korean states were created. The North Koreans have harbored an intense hatred of the South ever since, and no official peace treaty was signed, so technically the war could start at any second. North Korea could be squashed like a bug and even China still finds it hard to support it’s insane neighbor some times. But the fact remains: China will have no land borders with any direct ally to the US, for political and practical reasons, so China will continue to prop up North Korea unless they could be convinced otherwise.

North Korea has the worlds 5th largest standing army, but it is an army locked 50 years in the past, with not enough fuel to even train pilots or tankers. It could be destroyed within seconds, so why does the US not do it?

North Korea has demonstrated that they can launch a missile 40 miles into the sea of Japan. They have also demonstrated that they have a nuclear weapon of some sort. They ALSO have hundreds of artillery pieces within range, and pointed directly at the South Korean capitol Seoul, which has 10+ million inhabitants, and is scheduled to hold the next Olympics. We could stop theoretically any missiles that NK could even dream to launch into SK, but no system, not even missiles, can stop conventional artillery, it is just too fast and too small of a target. Any attempt to harass or attack NK will result in the deaths of 10 million or more, in just minutes. That does not include the amount of refugees, from both North and South Korea, and that SK is a cultural and industrial powerhouse of southeast Asia, and the loss of it, and it’s people would be a traumatic failure for global peace and the human race as a whole.

To Put it shortly:

You and ten buds have a gun pointed at one dude, but that one dude has a gun pointed directly at one of your best friend’s head. Even if all of you shoot at the same time, One of your friends is going to die, and you would much rather wait until he has to get food, and then cut him off.

Only time will tell how the Trump administration will deal with the increasing pressure.