News, Uncategorized

Tensions rise on the Korean Peninsula

Matt Vizzi

The horrors of the Korean War are sometimes overshadowed by a decades long armistice between the United States and North Korea, but the threat that America, its allies and many other Asia-Paci c countries now face could be grave.

According to CNN, North Korea has nearly perfected their Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program and, “The country has red 22 missiles during 15 tests since February, perfect- ing its technology with each launch.”

North Korea, which also tested several nuclear bombs this year, claims to have the ability to reach Hawaii and Alaska and is determined to extend their missile range to reach the U.S. mainland. Meanwhile, it seems that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s regime and President Donald Trump are all but reluctant to swap insults and military threats on a daily basis.

At an Alabama rally for Senator Luther Strange, President Trump said, “We can’t have madmen out there, shooting rockets all over the place.” Using a new nickname for Kim Jong Un, Trump added, “And by the way, the Rocket Man should’ve been handled a long time ago.”

According to CNN, North Kore- an Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho re- sponded swiftly saying, “Last weekend Trump claimed that our leadership wouldn’t be around much longer and declared a war on our country.” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded Monday saying, “We have not declared war on North Korea and, frankly, the suggestion of that is absurd.”

Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea date back to the Korean War, which ended in 1953, but were reignited in the early 1990s during the Clinton administration. According to the Atlantic, the U.S. and allies like Japan, South Korea and China worked to implement strategies against late North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, father of “Rocket Man,” in an effort to end their nuclear program. The final agreement was that North Korea would end the program in exchange for “two light-water nuclear reactors and heavy-fuel oil shipments,” a trust- worthy decision that was later met with deceit.

 

In a tweet on September 20, fol- lowing criticism for his use of the nickname “Rocket Man,” President Trump referred to the Clinton administration as well as Hillary Clin- ton’s time as Secretary of State in the Obama administration. The tweet read, “After allowing North Korea to research and build Nukes while Sec- retary of State (Bill C also), Crooked Hillary now criticizes.”

With this history in mind, whatever side of the political spectrum one may fall on it’s evident that years of ignored agreements and unaddressed issues have created quite the predicament for the United States’ twitter-frenzied president. Although, on Capitol Hill, lawmakers haven’t imposed sanctions on North Korea to quell them without the use of military force; a tone that doesn’t quite resonate with Trumps remarks of, “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Treasury Department has sanctioned eight North Korean banks and called for restrictions on North Korean businessmen operating in China, Russia, Libya and the United Arab Emirates. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said, “This further advances our strategy to fully isolate North Korea in order to achieve our broader objectives of a peaceful and denuclearized Korean Peninsula.”

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