North Korea: Wake up and smell the missile fuel

Source:  The New York Times     The Washington Post     CNN


Like fog rolling in, slow and consistent, North Korea continued its nuclear program and surprised the world with its advancement in missile technology; it has only been staring us in the face for the past five years…hello?!

The United States and the world have listened to North Korea’s rhetoric for years and basically ignored it.  The arrogance of being a superpower has led to a growing ignorance that heavy sanctions would bring North Korea to its knees and to the negotiation table; how wrong a plan that has been.  Instead, these weak actions did nothing but buy time for North Korea; fueling North Korea’s nuclear ambition to a “on your door step” reality.  It is no longer a question of can North Korea develop nuclear weapons but now a very real question of when.  The answer is in the speed at which North Korea has advanced, putting the question of when well within the foreseeable future, already being predicted as within 2018.

What this means for the United States is more on an already overflowing plate.  With the divided and dysfunctional nature the federal government finds itself in, the North Korea problem may overwhelm and lead to more bad decisions.  For one, the recent joint show of force from the United States, Japan, and South Korea may only serve to spur North Korea onward.  If heavy sanctions haven’t stopped North Korea, what makes anyone think North Korea will be intimidated by a show of force; especially in the face of proving ICMB capable missiles.

The United States should never have counted on China or Russia to help, it isn’t in their best interest to do so.  Both countries are effectively doing something by doing nothing.  Not to mention North Korea got a big boost with a new U.S. president with no political experience backed up by an even less experienced presidential cabinet made up of wealthy elitist with no clue.  Now an already ineffective government lead by an inexperienced president will need to take point on dealing with North Korea, a formula for disaster or at the very least beneficial to North Korea.

What we can expect to see moving forward is a lot of posturing and stern words for North Korea, all of which means nothing.  Relying on sanctions is useless and ineffective, as North Korea has already proven.  With this latest ICBM missile test, North Korea has managed to level the playing field enough to change how the world and the U.S. view North Korea, mission accomplished.

Without some decisive action or compelling reason for North Korea to meet at the negotiation table, this situation could continue as a stalemate with additional eye opening events from North Korea or spiral out of control putting the United States and the world in a position to yield and accept a nuclear capable North Korea.  Should this happen it could diminish the United States influence on the world, which could lead other countries, like North Korea, eager to proclaim their status and demand to be heard through the use of a nuclear bullhorn.