Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Is North Korea being Aggressive?

Political leaders, news reporters, and analysts claim North Korea is being aggressive towards the outside world. However, the U.S. military performs joint military exercises with South Korea. South Korea conducts military exercises near North Korea’s border while the U.S. military flies airplanes near the border. Then the United Nations with the approval of the United States imposed further sanctions on North Korea. When North Korea fired artillery onto Yeonpyeong Island, a disputed territory between South and North Korea, was North Korea being aggressive or sending a message to South Korea and the United States to back off?

The United Nations imposed sanctions on North Korea because North Korea is developing nuclear weapons and missile technology. In North Korea’s defense, a country with nuclear weapons has never been invaded by another country. Unfortunately, nuclear weapons depend on early 20th century technology. They are simple devices that depend on refined uranium 235 or plutonium 239. That is the only complexity of developing nuclear weapons, purifying and refining uranium or plutonium into weapons grade. On the other hand, North Korea could be using nuclear weapons and missile technology as a bargaining chip with the United States. For instance, North Korea could suspend its nuclear program if the United States opens diplomatic relations with North Korea and sends more aid. Unfortunately, both sides refuse to talk to each other.

Many Americans advocate invading North Korea. They believe the war would be quick and decisive. This could be a terrible idea. People had forgotten history. The Korean War (1950-53) ended in an armistice. Both the South and North Korean militaries put their weapons down and stopped fighting on July 27, 1953, and they never signed a peace treaty. Thus, the war ended in a tie with no winner. As the United States sends more ships and troops to the Korean Peninsula while South Korea performs military exercises near the border, North Korea had canceled the armistice in March 2013 as tension between the two sides continues escalating.

Many Americans had forgotten the United States military helped South Korea during the Korean War, and that war ended in a tie. Unfortunately, we have fared no better with our recent military excursions. U.S. military has occupied Afghanistan for over 12 years with no end in sight. U.S. military had killed the top leaders of al-Qaeda, but the U.S. military still controls a land locked country filled with sheepherders, mountains, and rocks. Under these conditions, the U.S. government still has trouble controlling Afghanistan even after the Soviet Union had worn down Afghanistan during the 1990s. Furthermore, the U.S. military has invaded Iraq and occupied the country for 12 years with no end in sight. U.S. military has invaded Iraq twice because the U.S. military had invaded Iraq in 1991 after Iraq invaded Kuwait.

A new war between North and South Korea becomes likely as tensions intensify. Let us say the U.S. military does invade North Korea. Everyone assumes North Korean missiles cannot reach U.S. soil. They only develop technology to fire mid-range missiles that could reach the U.S. military base in Guam. Experts claim North Korea does not have the technology to fire missiles that would reach the continental United States. Does anyone want to gamble on this? Besides, if North Korea does not have the technology to fire long-range missiles, military can mount missiles onto ships and sail them closer to their targets. Moreover, the U.S, military would have problems fighting a war with North Korea because the military would pull troops away from Iraq and Afghanistan. Thus, U.S. military spreads the troops and resources over three battle fronts. Opposition and rebels can rise up and successfully attack U.S. soldiers and bases. Napoleon and Hitler had opened two fronts, and both dictators lost the war.

Why must the U.S. government intervene in North and South Korea’s conflict? Where does the U.S. Constitution state the U.S. government must be the world’s police officer? Subsequently, if the U.S. government triggers a war, it must finance the war and its finances are not healthy as the U.S. government debt clock has ticked beyond $17.1 trillion. U.S. economy remains weak with sluggish, nonexistent job growth. U.S. government should worry about the weak economic recovery within our borders because a weak economy causes weak growth in tax collections. Unfortunately, a weak economy coupled with a high debt converts the debt clock into a ticking time bomb.

United States government is isolating North Korea. If the U.S. government wants to change North Korea, then get the North Korean government to open their economy to free trade. Free trade moves new products, services, and ideas across a country’s borders. After the people taste free choice, consumer products, and new ideas and technology, they will demand their government to open up more. We see this happening in China. Communists still control the government in China, but every day, they open and liberalize their economy more until one day, the government will grant freedom to its people. Forcing open North Korea’s economy would change the system more than the United States and South Korea triggering a war with North Korea. Missiles and bombs would not destroy cities, and no soldiers would die.

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