Tensions Mounting with North Korea

Tension between the United States and North Korea continues to mount. The groundbreaking revelation of North Korea’s missile capabilities earlier this year inspired fear. President Donald Trump met the threat with a firm hand, pledging to “[meet North Korea] with fire and fury like the world has never seen” should the nation continue its threats against the U.S. U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley corroborated this statement, saying “If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed.”

The President tweeted Oct. 7 that diplomacy with North Korea in the past 25 years “hasn’t worked,” keeping in line with his aggressive and non-amicable statements concerning the nation over the past few months.

In contrast, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asserted that diplomacy be attempted with North Korea “until the first bomb drops,” and claimed that the President agreed that this is the best course of action despite his public statements.

However, there has been much controversy surrounding Tillerson’s standing in the White House, especially concerning Tillerson’s relationship to Trump. Allegations of Tillerson calling Trump a “moron” and Trump’s public stance on North Korea demonstrate a rift between the two, one that could cause trouble for the nation’s affairs. It is rumored that Tillerson’s termination is forthcoming and that he is likely to be replaced by either Haley or CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The ambiguous governmental responses to North Korea confuse what a diplomatic or more aggressive road may mean. A path of diplomacy would undoubtedly entail negotiations between the two countries, but neither has taken significant steps to create a dialogue. Moreover, Trump’s frequent inflammatory remarks about the situation, such as his referral to North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un as “Little Rocket Man,” undercut Tillerson and other officials’ efforts to foster a diplomatic link to the rogue nation.

In a recent statement to CNN, North Korean officials said that the state was not interested in diplomacy with the U.S. until they develop an intercontinental ballistic missile that  can reach the U.S. east coast. It is important to note that North Korea is not eliminating diplomacy with the U.S. from their agenda. Rather, according to North Korean officials, the country wants to affirm its nuclear potency and establish “a reliable defensive and offensive capability to counter any aggression from the United States.”

Photo Courtesy of CNN.

Christina Kirk

Christina Kirk is the Editor-in-Chief of The Hilltop Monitor. She is a senior majoring in Oxbridge: Institutions & Policy and international relations.

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