Politicast: Toying with War in North Korea?  

Tensions are mounting between the US and North Korea as leader Kim Jong-un increases threats against South Korea and as of late, the United States and Washington, D.C. While the conversation is focused on open threats and shows of force from either side, North Korea is positioning itself as though war is imminent. 

Photo: nytimes.com

Photo: nytimes.com

By Tara Moore—

Obviously, we’re not at war with North Korea—yet. But as of late, things are escalating in a way that if I weren’t paying attention, I’d be extremely terrified. Alright, alright, maybe I am a little spooked regardless. Here are the facts: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un officially ordered the readying of his missiles for a potential strike on the U.S. and South Korea. Apparently, Jong-un’s decision was in response to America conducting its own practice exercises deploying 2 nuclear-capable B-2 Spirit bombers over South Korea, the first mission for a non-stop round trip stealth flight from the US.

Though the exercise did not include live ammo, it did nothing but spit fire at the already-blazing tensions between the US and North Korea, spurred by our ongoing support for South Korea.

To put it frankly, my hysteria over this news could be from seeing Olympus Has Fallen last weekend and realizing that the outlandish, over-the-top attack on DC by a North Korean extremist—thought completely far-fetched—is not so far from reality, should either side take any military action beyond waving big guns at each other. Flexing muscle only goes so far, and we all know what how the Cold War had everyone in a tizzy. Obviously, it might be too soon to even mention things like “Cold War,” “imminent attack,” etc.—someone in the intelligence community is probably tapping into this post as I type it—but think about it for a second: shouldn’t we at least be talking about it?

Relations with North Korea, under new leader Kim Jong-un and even his late father Kim Jong-il—whose passing resulted in his son’s coming into power—were growing more and more strained as the country continued to ignore demands to halt its nuclear proliferation programs including nuclear tests, that resulted in seismic activity in the area, and ballistic missile launches which are barred under the current UN sanctions. As a sign of blatant disrespect for China’s demand they do not test any nuclear missiles to avoid confrontation from nearby countries, Kim Jong-un ordered a test earlier this month as the first under his leadership, but the third since 2006.

When such disregard for foreign relations and international peace-keeping entities enters any foreign arena, the world watches on in anticipation of retaliation coming from just about anywhere. The US is probably the least likely to engage in any war without provocation, such as an attack on South Korea. President Obama is not quick to resort to military action without decisive, pragmatic debate, but it’s hard to ignore the idea that North Korea could be forcing America’s hand.

Economic sanctions can only do so much to force anyone’s hand, but let’s hope smart leadership and common sense keeps terms like “cold war” and “imminent strike” of the viable solutions to this growing, unpredictable situation.