Is North Korea a threat to the U.S.?

It is safe to say that tensions between the United States and North Korea have been on edge since the Korean War in the 1950’s. With North Korea constantly making threats of bombarding South Korean cities and warning of all out nuclear war with the United States, troubles are a-brewing. Correspondingly, North Korea has held numerous American citizens captive for supposed crimes against North Korea’s ruler, Kim Jong Un. On May 8, 2017 another American visitor was captured for “hostile actions,” furthering diplomatic issues. One thing that stands out is that, North Korea threatens or stirs up the pot when a new president, both American or South Korean, comes into office.

Just days after Trump was sworn into office, North Korea gave threats of nuclear war. North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests in the last decade, with claims that the fifth test was a hydrogen bomb, an even more deadly weapon. However, experts say based on the magnitude of shock wave that the bomb emitted, it is most likely a false accusation and just an atomic bomb. Based on these tests over the past decade, one could say that North Korea does have nuclear capabilities. However, they still have to figure out how to decrease the size of the bomb into a warhead that could fit into a long range ballistic missile. Their long range missiles have the capability of traveling as far east as Alaska and as far west to the Middle East.

In recent weeks, President Trump has responded to these aggressive threats by sending an aircraft carrier, two destroyers and one gunboat into the sea of Japan, just a short distance from North Korea. This action only made Kim Jong Un mad, as he has increased his threats, demanding that the United States pull out their Navy or else the ships will be sunk. Trump has tweeted recently, “North Korea is looking for trouble.” Diplomatically speaking, Trump has had meetings with China’s president in order to discuss this delicate situation, in hopes that China, North Korea’s older brother, may calm down the storm that the North Korean regime has created. Even without their help, Trump says, “We will solve the problem without them.”

I believe that North Korea’s threats should not be brushed over, although they are, at the end of the day, more talk and less action. Moreover, they would be no match for the superior numbers of the United States with its 321.4 million people, as compared to North Korea’s 25 million people. Being the largest military power, The United States weaponry capability and equipment are far better. Although China has a very old relationship with North Korea, at its peak in the 1950’s, China would not risk a war with the United States by actively fighting in the hypothetical second Korean War; the Chinese economy largely depends on the trade and interaction with the United States.    

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