North Korea’s Fighting Words


Michael McGrady Director of McGrady Policy Research
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Fun fact… as I was writing this op-ed, it was originally going to focus on the soft power distribution of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s film industry via crazed notions of socialistic and nationalistic North Korean pride. If you don’t believe me, ask the opinion editor.

Well, that was the main focus until Kim Jong-Un, the overcompensating hot-head that leads the country with an iron fist, pushed the envelope even further with the nuclear weapon tests, and, of course, the strong rhetoric coming from the North Korean side of the Pacific.

I am just going to begin by saying that regime change is an attractive option, in support Bret Stephens approach (which he outlined in The Wall Street Journal days ago).

What this all comes down to, though, is who has the biggest pair of balls to push the envelope the furthest when it comes to international actions, military actions, and, obviously, the rhetoric of national governmental entities.

Ever since the transition of power, the North Korean government has been pushing their ability to make the United States government, under Trump, fear them through geo-nuclear theatrics. Though I am not saying that the threats from North Korea aren’t credible, they are; what I am saying is that the ability of the North Korean government to strike fear into the west has been met with no follow through on many of them.

Leveraging the state media and the mass indoctrination of his people, Kim Jong-Un has the ability to rile up his most loyal followers and the military organs to follow him, without excuse. With one of the largest standing militaries in the world, I’d get cocky too.

Nevertheless, the end goal here is that the propagation of North Korean political and diplomatic interests is vested on a strong presence on the international stage. Coincidentally, this never becomes the actual case because of how backward the Eastern Asian country is considered. Through nukes into the equation, then the country is clearly attempting to force itself into the international stage vying for attention.

On a more serious note, there is no doubt that the DPRK has nuclear weapons capability. There is no reason not to dismiss the latest nuclear tests, either.

Based on these grounds, I argue that we need to stop talking and actually do something to hold an angry little man’s government accountable. Demeaning or not, Kim Jong-Un’s government is risking its obliteration or implosion.

An official at the Trump White House echoed the most ominous words, in this effect.

“The clock has now run out’ on North Korean nuclear program, and all options are on the table,” the official pointed out speaking on the reaffirmed no tolerance stance the administration has taken.

Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, and President Trump are meeting later this week in Florida, as well. And, essentially, the change shared consensus among the United States and its allies are that North Korea will be dealt with and China will be also held accountable.

Given lax involvement in reigning in the DPRK’s government, Trump stance will one of staunch resistance against and soft plays to coordinate bilateral solutions.

Though it pains me to admit this, given my support of regionalism and diplomacy, but China and North Korea are in cahoots in some capacity and the time has come for Trump foreign policy to be tested.

Get the popcorn, the fight is about to start.