North Korea: President Trump’s Second Moment of Truth
In a previous piece, I argued that the Syrian airstrike was a moment of truth for the Trump Administration, and particularly his foreign policy. It was just that, and many foreign policy experts agreed that, as his first foreign policy test, he passed with flying colors.
But now, an even greater and more imminent threat has arisen. Whereas the Syrian airstrike was simply a matter of re-establishing American dominance on the international stage, and reaffirming our commitment to global human rights, the latest North Korean developments are an entirely different beast: Now, we are on the threshold of demonstrating how far we are willing to go to defend our national security when it has been directly threatened by an unstable psychopath, who just so happens to rule a nuclear country.
Here’s the latest developments as of today: First, it was revealed that North Korea has breached nuclear capability with their missiles, and more specifically, has developed a compact nuclear warhead that can fit inside any of its missiles. This comes after numerous tests of various ballistic missiles that have the capability of carrying such a devastating payload over a great distance. Then, as if that was not terrifying enough, U.S. spy satellites have detected that North Korean forces are moving anti-ship cruise missiles onto patrol boats. This is a deadly combination and signals a clear determination on North Korea’s part to prepare for action.
In response to this, President Trump delivered a fiery statement - the anger easily detectable in his face and in his words - where he declared that “North Korea had best not make anymore threats to the United States,” or else “they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” In response to the President’s statement, a North Korean military spokesperson made a direct threat against the American territory of Guam.
The nation’s newly-developed nuclear capability, coupled with such a direct and specific threat against a United States territory, seems to have raised the possibility of a war with North Korea to nearly-imminent levels. This comes after the United Nations unanimously passed a sweeping new sanction against North Korea - Resolution 2371 - which will slash $1 billion worth of North Korean exports. As this is one-third of the entire worth of North Korean exports, the sanction has been called the biggest economic sanction ever leveled against the nation. But even more devastating for North Korea than the sanction’s passage is the fact that it passed unanimously, 15-0, with even China and Russia voting in favor of it. This signaled a potential shift in the Chinese-North Korean dynamic, where China - North Korea’s only ally in the world - has often been a looming presence in the region that has prevented any military action against the rogue state.
Now, it is possible that China may be ready to join the rest of the world in handling North Korea in a much stricter way than it has in the past. Especially after such a direct threat against a sovereign territory, China may have no choice but to either join the anti-North Korea coalition, or simply turn a blind eye to the situation and remain neutral, as it would be quite difficult for the Chinese government to justify or defend such a threat.
Tensions are at an all-time high. The stakes are even higher. The world is watching. How President Trump handles this new issue will determine not only the fate of his young presidency, but perhaps the course of human history.