In aworld that is increasingly hostile and driven by geopolitical interests, oneneeds to look back in history in order to understand the current political gameplayed by both the U.S. and North Korea. Well, Korea was divided along the 38thParallel in 1945 after the end of World War II. The Soviet Union occupied the northern half ofthe peninsula, while the United States occupied the southern half.
Following unsuccessful attempts to reconcileadversarial provisional governments that emerged under U.S. and Sovietinfluence, the government in the South founded the Republic of Korea (ROK) inAugust 1948 and the following month, the government in the North declared theestablishment of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Then, after several years of cross-borderskirmishes, the DPRK invaded the South, sparking a full-scale conflict on June25, 1950 (Gannon, 2015). According to Joshua Berlinger, the pausebutton was hit on the Korean War in 1953. The U.
S. went there and fought the war andeventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, some way or another,and some in South Korea, too. By thetime the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, North Korea, which began the warwith a population of 9.
6 million had suffered an estimated 1.3 million civilianand military casualties (2017). From the number of people who lost their livesduring the war, one could conclude where the resentment and the mistrust forthe U.S. by North Koreans came from.
So, thequestions that remain on the table are: what does Pyongyang want by buildingnuclear weapons? And what is at stakefor the U.S.? On one hand, when it comesto North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, the Kim regime looks at leaderslike Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, who despite giving up his pursuit of nuclearweapons for security guarantees and sanctions relief ended up ousted andkilled.
Therefore, the regime thinks ofthose weapons as key to survival (Berlinger, 2017). So, Pyongyang is convinced that the UnitedStates will not attack a country that has nuclear weapons and is prepared touse them. On the other hand, it isstated that North Korea can probably already target South Korea, Japan, and U.S.bases in those countries with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.
And Pyongyang will likely be able to strikemore distant targets, including U.S. bases in Guam and Hawaii, and eventuallythe continental United States itself, within two to three years (Revere, 2016). To sum up, we live in a world driven bygeopolitical interests wherein some nations are willing to do whatever it takesto ensure its survival while other nations will take drastic measures to curbany potential threats against its citizens. So, in the end it all boils down to one thing:security.
Alternative SolutionsNorthKorea: Comparison of OptionsTwenty-five years after discovery of the PDRK’s nuclearweapons program by U.S. intelligence comparative analysis examines thecontinued use of economic pressure or the military application of force by theUnited States options to bring about the end of Pyongyang’s nuclear weaponsprogram; conversely, the rationale of analysis only factors the regime andlikely courses if its leader, Kim Jong Un, is of a sane psychological profile. If not, the application of military force isthe only way to prevent a madman and fanatical regime from acquiring deliverysystems for WMD. The analysis alsorelies on the rational assumption that Kim Jong Un and the PDRK are willing torelinquish ownership of their nuclear weapons program and that the UnitedStates is willing to allow continued sanctions or risk executing military forcewith or without international support (Griffiths & O’Callaghan, p.
280-282). For the sake of analysis, theWeinberger and more recent doctrines governing the use of force is used toanalyze tangibles with respect to the application of force necessary toaccomplish these objectives (see Figure 1 historical guideline governing whenand how military force were used). Withrespect to security policy and our analysis governing the application of forceand power projection are categorized