Here, I’m referencing a USA Today article which can be found at USA Today, March 10, which describes North Korea’s threat to launch a nuclear attack on the United States. If I were president, I might consider just the threat itself AN ACT OF WAR, and launch a preemptive strike on Pyongyang. Would you?
An official statement by a government needs to be taken seriously. An atomic bomb, detonated within the boundaries of a large American city, such as Los Angeles or San Francisco, would kill millions and badly disrupt the entire economy of our country. While North Korea probably can’t make a warhead that would fit into one of their missiles, and there’s a good chance the missile might not be reliable enough to hit an American city, it’s still possible they could. We might shoot down such a missile, or not. Should we take the risk?
North Korea’s new dictator, Kim Jong Un, is very young and appears to be a dingbat. Like a certain current American president, he’s probably unqualified for the job. He may actually be less qualified. However, I think his threats are therefore more believable. He might really mean to attack South Korea or the United States.
According to USA Today, North Korea’s blustering is in response to joint South Korea and U.S. military exercises, which they hold every year. They have cancelled the armistice between North Korea and South Korea, which has been in effect since 1953. But, some analysts think the threatening talk is really for the benefit of North Korea’s people, to keep them in a state of hysteria.
Taking all the above in consideration, I still believe that North Korea has taken an action, by issuing the threat to attack the United States with atomic weapons, that should not be ignored. Even if we don’t think much of their missiles, there are other ways they could attack us. They could slip a bomb in on a freighter, for example. They could attack South Korea, which we are pledged to defend. I would strike North Korea – not with an atomic weapon, because the North Korean people aren’t to blame, but I would hit every military installation I could find with whatever conventional weapons I could put over their country. In other words, I’d call their bluff.
Or rather, if I were president, I’d call in my advisors. They would point out the risk of starting a dangerous war, no matter how justified, and probably talk me out of it. They might tell me either use an atomic weapon on Pyongyang, or don’t do anything. I’d probably end up by just imposing sanctions. Stopping the flow of Hershey bars to North Korea might be the end result. That’s about the kind of thing we do now to prevent wars.
We have a similar situation with Iran and Mamoud Achoomadinejad (spelling?) who also makes crazy and irrational threats. We respond by imposing sanctions. This has been going on for many years, and the situation just gets worse – they are very close to developing long range missiles, with warheads that work and can hit anywhere in Europe. When they have them, we should have lots more threats to worry about.
One of these days, we should learn to take crazy dictators seriously.