Nobody believes North Korea would and could strike the mighty United States. If the hermit kingdom could do that – successfully nukes South Korea, Japan or even the U.S. – then it only goes to show that the North Korean’s military technology is superior to the Americans’. Suddenly the U.S. and the West no longer laugh at North Korea, let alone calls Dictator Kim Jong-un the “fat boy”.
Last year, when a photograph emerged of Kim Jong-un standing next to an orb, which a North Korean newspaper claimed was a miniaturized nuclear weapon, Washington laughed their heads off. They mocked the object as a “disco ball”. British Daily Mail used to call Kim Jong-un the fat boy – almost on daily basis – who couldn’t get enough of cheese.
When Mr. Kim came to power in 2011, he was immediately mocked for hisfunny haircut. Heck, even the dumb Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak thought he could play and humiliate the North Korean dictator during the assassination of Kim’s half brother – Kim Jong-nam – this year (2017) in order to impress President Donald Trump.
Today, not many are laughing anymore. The ruthless and badass Kim Jong-un has proven that he has the last laugh. America no longer sees him as a joke.In fact, Donald Trump was both worried and irritated by Kim’s continuous provocations that without him realizing it, the U.S. president appears to have been lured and dragged into a war of words fits only for kids.
Can you believe a war of words between a superpower America and a pariah North Korea? In the latest contest, Trump warned (*yawn*) North Korea against making any more threats to the U.S., saying the country “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” In retaliation, Kim specifically said he was considering firing missiles at Guam, a U.S. military base in the Pacific.
Mr. Trump vowed in January that North Korea wouldn’t develop a nuclear weapon capable of striking parts of the U.S. Now, the U.S. military intelligence isn’t so sure. The Washington Post reported that a U.S. intelligence assessment concluded North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead after all. That report sent shivers down Trump’s spine.
The complacent and arrogant United States Intelligence Community would normally laugh first and think later when the subject of North Korea was discussed, for obvious reason. Whether badass Kim truly possesses the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead – and successfully launches it on an intercontinental missile – is still unknown but remains the biggest headache to Trump administration.
That’s where the mind-game comes into play. Kim Jong-un has proven his critics and skeptics wrong. Despite his young age and lack of experience, he eliminated his rivals, including the brutal execution of his uncle in 2013 and the assassination of his half brother this year. He has advanced the hermit kingdom’s nuclear and missile technologies to an unbelievable level.
Under his leadership, North Korea had conducted about 60 ballistic missile tests in recent years, and it was the only country to have tested nuclear devices in this century. Heck, he has even improved North Korea’s economy, in spite of international sanctions. North Korea regularly threatens strikes on the U.S. homeland and other U.S. military assets in Asia. It was the U.S.’ fault they didn’t take the threats seriously.
Is Trump willing to gamble that Kim’s latest threat to pre-emptively strike Guam was nothing but an empty rhetoric? From Trump’s panicky response, it appears that the White House doesn’t even know if the threats were real or otherwise. North Korea’s first ICBM test (July 4th) and second ICBM test (July 28th) suggested that the whole continental U.S. is in range of a strike.
Donald Trump should have had authorized the biggest airstrike the world has ever seen on North Korea yesterday, if the whole idea was to stop North Korea from joining the “nuclear power” club. It’s true what McCain said – “You’ve got to be sure that you can do what you say you’re going to do.” As of now, Trump has shown that he can easily be goaded into verbal battles with Kim.
Sure, it was nice to see China and Russia agreeable to the U.S. slapping the harshest economic sanctions yet on North Korea over their nuclear weapons programs. But isolating the North Koreans has not halted their pursuit of nuclear weapons in the past, and it certainly will not stop them now. Trump’s bombastic comments obviously aren’t helping the situation.
Trump’s “fire and fury” statement would only provoke Kim with more threats, considering the hermit kingdom has nothing more to lose. Both the Chinese and the Russians believe Kim Jong-un is pragmatic enough not to strike any nation with nuclear weapons. The North Korean dictator was merely playing mind games with the U.S. president.
Washington wants Pyongyang to scrap its nuclear weapons program before any negotiations could take place. That’s quite an arrogant demand. Kim Jong-un might be ruthless and even a bit insane but he isn’t stupid. He knew how Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi met his fate after surrendered his nuclear weapons programs in response to Western demands.
Nuclear weapons are the only insurance policy that keeps him in power. Therefore, it isn’t possible to negotiate with North Korea if the condition is for Kim to abandon the program. The nuclear weapons program is “the most powerful bargaining chip that North Korea has.” But both narcissist Trump and Kim couldn’t lose face hence the failure to talk.
If Trump administration has no intention of a pre-emptive military strike against the North Korea, then the U.S. president should shut the hell up and start negotiating with the young dictator. It would be more beneficial than engage in a war or words where it provides more justifications for North Korea to destabilize the region and the world.
Just because China and Russia voted alongside the U.S. doesn’t mean they agree with the way Americans deal with North Korea. It was China that provided the financial muscles to North Korea through trade. It was Russia that provided the nuclear technology to North Korea through knowledge transfer. But it was the U.S. that provoked North Korea through endless military exercises.
Still, Trump administration hasn’t figured out whether Kim Jong-un is seeking the nuclear capability only to guarantee the survival of his regime, or to use it at a later stage for a “reunification” with South Korea. The hermit kingdom could threaten the U.S. with a nuclear strike on U.S. cities should American forces come to South Korea’s aid, forcing Washington to choose between the homeland and its ally.