North Korea: the country who cried wolf


North Korea recently made some shocking announcements. The dictatorship declared an end to the 1953 armistice with South Korea, and threatened the United States with a pre-emptive nuclear strike. The world media is having a field day.

Shere Khalel is a staff writer for The Journal

The thing is, North Korea’s actions are not so shocking.

This is the third time in the last 10 years North Korea has threatened to end the armistice. In 2009, North Korea threatened to end the armistices because South Korea was planning on joining an anti-proliferation plan lead by the United States. South Korea only got involved in the plan to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), because North Korea carried out its second underground nuclear test.

In 2003, North Korea said it would end its armistice with South Korea if the United States imposed trade sanction and kept building up its forces in the area, according to a report done by the Federation of American Scientists.

As far as nuclear threats go, to call North Korea the “boy who cried wolf” is an understatement. We’ve been doing this nuclear dance with North Korea since 2002 when the United States found evidence North Korea was working on enriching uranium for nuclear bombs.

I distinctly remember North Korea proudly announcing it had nuclear weapons in 2003. The same year the United States invaded Iraq looking for the WMD it was sure Saddam was hiding. As it turned out the United States picked the wrong dictator, Iraq wasn’t harboring WMD.

I think the United States should call their bluff, go back to its 2003 strategy and ignore North Korea.

I seriously doubt North Korea has ever meant business. They’ve thrown diplomatic temper tantrums, tested ballistic missiles, carried out on openly enriching uranium (for nuclear bombs), made ridiculous claims against half the world and no one has lifted a finger more than some halfhearted sanctions that really only effect the already starving, emaciated population. I can’t think of another country outside of the United States that acts with such blatant disregard for the rest of the world.

North Korea pretty much gets to do whatever it wants, so why spoil a good thing? I think North Korea just wants a little attention, and some nice propaganda pieces to run on its state-run news channels. The world media plays right into it.

To suggest North Korea would ever seriously consider nuking the United States or an ally is absurd. I think the decision-makers in North Korea enjoy being at the top too much to risk their country being flattened to the ground. The real risk, which is still rather unlikely, is the threat of North Korea selling nukes to non-state bodies.

According to a Russian news source, The United Nations already inspects anything going in and out of North Korea, and monitors all financial transactions and large cash transfers into the country.

As long as North Korea is heavily monitored, all should be well. Instead of the news media taking North Korea’s blundering as a real substantial threat, they should be treating North Korea’s “threats” as what it is: posturing.

If the United States isn’t planning on going in and saving the people of North Korea from their own government, then it should be simultaneously ignoring the North Korean government, and attempting to get aid to the starving people of North Korea.

The rest is a waiting game. I don’t think the state of the North Korean public allows for any sort of revolution in the country, but I do think North Korea will eventually get bored of its situation and want to join the rest of the world, which means it has to play by our rules.

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