Tensions Between United States and North Korea Rise

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North Korea – mostly every American who listens to the news knows about this rogue country. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK for short) was founded in 1953 after the Korean War, under the rulership of Kim Il-Sung. North Korea is a socialist/communist dictatorship state, with currently it’s leader being the Grandson of Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong Un.


Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea started to rise following former President George W. Bush’s election in 2001. He disagreed with the policies formed with North Korea, and recalled the country as a “Rogue State”. In 2006, North Korea had conducted its first nuclear weapon test. President Bush was also involved in fueling the nuclear state, by funding them with money that was meant to be spent on food. Kim Jong-il turned around, and instead of feeding his people, decided to start research on nuclear weapons for later use. Kim Jong-il died in 2011 and seeing that his son Kim Jong-un took over the state. Tensions were not as high with former President Barack H. Obama in office, however, with North Korea still being an issue, the situation was kept under control.


In early 2017, when then now President Donald J. Trump being inaugurated into office, issues regarding North Korea started to escalate. The Trump administration promised throughout the campaign that they would deal with the “rogue state”, and how military action will be taken if provoked. General James Mattis was appointed the Secretary of Defense, then also considering military action against the country. However, President Trump has kept aggravating North Korea, by insulting the North Korean regime, which is provoking more issues. One of President Trump’s many insults towards the North Korean regime is calling the dictator, “Rocket man”. This was made more apparent in the United Nations assembly this year, as President Trump went on to talk about North Korea, then mentioning “Rocket man” again. Following this may be also more of the reason for the tensions.


Sanctions have been placed by all the UN-allied countries, from China to Russia, to South Korea, and many many more. North Korea’s most recent heavy sanction was placed by the United States, passed after Otto Warmbier was released from North Korea with brain damage, dying not long after he was released. Otto Warmbier was arrested and sentenced for fifteen years in a hard-labor work camp, after being accused of desecrating a North Korean propaganda poster, that was hung up on the staff-only area of the Yanggakdo hotel in Pyongyang, which is the only tourist hotel in all of North Korea. The poster read, “Let’s arm ourselves strongly with Kim Jong-il’s patriotism!” Whilst Otto and his tourist group were departing, two guards came up to him and one tapped him on the shoulder then he was led away. North Korea’s only news network then announced that Otto has been detained for ‘hostile acts against DPRK’. He later had a trial, where he was forced to admit he was the one who took down the propaganda poster, however, many people are saying the speech was crafted by a North Korean official. The speech he presented sounded grammatically incorrect, and that how he mentioned about his church and the U.S. government are ‘bad’.


   Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had addressed that North Korea has to be dealt with, that a diplomacy is no longer an option, as it hasn’t worked before. North Korea is a dangerous threat to deal with, as seeing as they are building up their nuclear arsenal, and they threaten the U.S. with ICBMs (Inter continental ballistic missiles), that are so called able to hit the West coast of the United States. So it all comes back to: what do you do now? What is the best military option that the United States could take? There are so many possible outcomes of what could work. The United States used diplomacy, sanctions, and military stations set up around North Korea, but none of that has worked before. The United States can’t really attack first because that is against the United Nations’ policy. So the United States is stuck waiting for North Korea to strike first.