The Peddie News

The Impending Threat of War With North Korea

Nina Narayan '18

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North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test last month, violating international law. In addition, North Korea has launched numerous missiles, creating great anxiety in South Korea and Japan. There is great fear that North Korea is moving closer to its goal of developing an intercontinental missile that could reach the continental United States. With the support of China and Russia, the United Nations Security Council has imposed new and tougher sanctions against North Korea in response to its latest missile tests. China has ordered North Korean owned businesses in China, including joint ventures with Chinese companies, to close before the end of the year. China is North Korea’s main trading partner, and the success of the sanctions depends on their participation.

Ever since the end of the Korean War in 1953, there has been tension between the United States and North Korea. The tension has increased as North Korea’s military capability has grown. Both countries have exhibited their fury and threat. President Trump’s tweet storms threaten “fire and fury,” and refer to their leader as the “Rocket Man.” Kim Jong-Un’s response referred to President Trump as a “deranged US dotard,” and interpreted Trump’s threats as “a declaration of war.”

Peddie student and South Korea resident Elaine Moon ’18 shared her perspective on the situation, saying “I honestly don’t think my family feels that threatened, but I know my dad bought the gas ranges and emergency food just in case. They doubt the war is actually going to happen, but the fear is always there and they constantly check the news.”

Al Jazeera reports that South Korean intelligence has indicated that North Korea has relocated their warplanes along their east coast, and Kim Jong-Un has stated that in response to the “United States’ declaration of war,” the country will test a hydrogen bomb over the ocean.

Ryan Hwang ’18 stated his stance on the issue, saying “I personally do not think that there will be any major military conflict between the US and NK any time soon, but I do think that the US should approach it in a more diplomatic manner than trying to intimidate each other with harsh words. If the exchanges between Trump and North Korea continue in the way it is right now, NK will continue to build arms until they are able to cause direct damage to the US mainland, and the US will have to declare war on NK first.”

US Secretary of State Tillerson is currently in Beijing attempting, among other agenda items, to calm the situation through diplomatic talks. The President’s tweets claim that negotiation with the “Rocket Man” is a waste of time. While the president continues to state his lack of faith in a diplomatic solution, the Departments of State and Defense have stated that they are still committed to a diplomatic approach.

Hwang noted that his family and friends back in South Korea have similar stances on the situation. “Nobody will be worried about a war between the US and NK until Trump actually withdraws the USAFK,” Hwang said, referring to the US Forces in Korea. While the war of words continues, the citizens of South Korea and Japan have limited worry, as their fate appears to be in the hands of these two opposing leaders.

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The Impending Threat of War With North Korea