Jordan Benefiel | Staff Writer
North Korea needs to be stopped, and there’s no one to stop it. Tensions have been rising in the region and around the world as North Korea tests its ballistic missiles over Japan, threatens South Korea, Guam, and the U.S. Meanwhile, China does nothing.
Early in September, the Seoul military reported that North Korea was readying another ballistic missile test that could potentially be an ICBM. This news came right on the heels of North Korea’s claim that it also was testing a hydrogen bomb. Hydrogen bomb or not, Seoul’s defense ministry measured the nuclear test at 50 kilotons, making this test the DPRK’s biggest one ever.
In response to the news, the United States sent mixed messages. On the one hand, defense secretary Jim Mattis said that we are “not looking to the total annihilation” of North Korea, “but we have many options to do so.” On the other hand, United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, told the security council that Kim Jong Un is “begging for war,” yet she called for more diplomacy.
Both stances were made obsolete by President Trump’s ambiguous response to a Fox News reporter. When asked if the U.S. will attack North Korea, the president responded, “We’ll see.”
With the U.S. paralyzed as to how to approach North Korea and China too indifferent to take the necessary steps to disarm the North Koreans, Americans are left vulnerable. Even if the politics of this are complicated, that should not keep the powers that be from taking the necessary steps to protecting the world from nuclear war. Thinking about how the average person is practically powerless to combat this threat, we start to realize how terrifying the world can be.
When asked if North Korean aggression scared him, Eric Harrell, a second-year psychology major at Hampton University answered, “No, the North Korean aggression doesn’t scare me.” When pressed for further elaboration, all he said is he doesn’t view the North Koreans as a threat. Another student, Harrington Gardiner, a second-year journalism major, said, “The weapons that they’re testing right now won’t be able to reach parts of our country, but they are targeting our allies as a threat [toward] us to see if we will retaliate because they want war.”
The North Korea problem continues to be prescient because the threat of nuclear war keeps escalating. Officials are afraid that if North Korea were ever capable of fitting a nuclear warhead on an ICBM, the rogue nation could cause catastrophe across the globe. Now more than ever, we need a strong unified message around how we will combat this problem.