Donald Trump Should Take Kim Jong-un Seriously

By AMANDA KRAUSE
On April 19, 2017

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

President Donald Trump has been aware of the nuclear dangers emanating from North Korea long before securing the presidential nomination. Despite these forewarnings, America now finds itself dealing with a nuclear crisis four months into Trump’s presidency.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Barack Obama “warned [Trump] that his first international crisis might come from North Korea,” in a transitional meeting before Trump’s inauguration. Obama was referencing both North Korea’s missile tests that have been reoccurring since the 1990s as well as their threats of nuclear retaliation against the United States.

Trump did attempt to make matters with North Korea a priority early on in his presidency. When news emerged that North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un was preparing to test the country’s most dangerous nuclear weapons yet, North Korea became the main subject of discussion between Trump and the leader of China, Xi Jinping, when the two met earlier in April.

But in keeping with his character, Trump didn’t stop there. On April 11, the President tweeted “North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”

In order to understand the potential severity of this careless tweet, one must first understand just how dicey of a situation America is in attempting to deal with North Korea. Simply stated, there is no way of tackling the tensions between nations without negatively affecting either another nation or our own.

For example, there is the option to attack North Korea’s nuclear program. While this could eliminate the country’s weapons, it could also destroy half of the South Korean population.

The United States could also seek to remove Kim Jong-un from power. While the removal of their leader could potentially ease the threats facing the United States and other nations, as well as relieving the burdens placed on the people of North Korea, there is no way of knowing how North Korea’s military would react if such an action were successful.

It’s obvious to see that there is no simple solution to easing tensions with North Korea. Once that becomes clear, one can also see just how absurd it is to tweet at North Korea as if they were a middle school bully.

In a situation where Trump should be acting his most presidential, the leader of the United States has displayed his most immature and thoughtless side yet.

Yes, North Korea’s missile tests have mostly failed, but that doesn’t mean the President of the United States can treat one of the most unpredictable and dangerous nations as a minor threat.

Donald Trump speaks as though North Korea is a nation that could never tackle a force as strong as America.

If Trump’s only response to the threats of nuclear destruction stemming from North Korea is a weakly worded tweet, the rest of the United States government must remain strong and firm in working with it's allies in the region to come to the most peaceful solution possible. 

 akrause@ramapo.edu

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