The most volatile and prominent threat to The United States of America is North Korea. Their development and testing of nuclear weapons coupled with their relationships with Russia and China promote conflict over foreseeable unity with South Korea. Most recently, North Korea has lengthened their demands for the United States in order to move forward with denuclearization; this standoff threatens stability and military power on the peninsula. Further instability is risked with slighting the new demands while securing a peace declaration threatens Chinese and Russian interference as their geographical buffer is potentially weakened with potential U.S. forces presence.
Russia shares their southernmost border in Siberia with North Korea while China shares an eastern border with the country. A long-term goal of the United States involves the denuclearization and unification of both Koreas. This accomplishment will remove the shield between two of our most viable and competitive threats: Russia and China. Both countries have provided amble trade opportunities to North Korea to both sustain the regime and to stimulate their own respective economies.
Following the Korean War, China and Russia developed shared interests in maintaining the economical state of North Korea primarily to ward off potential political variability along their mutual border. However common the denuclearization of North Korea is by world leaders, Russia and China lose the most with talks of unifying the peninsula and creating a potential extension of American influence in the region. From deterrence missions throughout the Baltics against Russia to recent trade disputes with China, the United States potential extension of military presence invites increased uncertainty with North Korea’s neighbours equatable, conventional forces. These major events directly affect both countries freedom of manuever globally do not align well with being asked to be external influencers to the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.
The current administration’s approach to forcing denuclearization and promoting a united and stable peninsula has been largely criticized, however, the superficial strides made cannot be denied. Some analysts believe that the brazen approach is influencing North Korea to entertain peace talks because they’re realizing they’re outmatched in comparison to the United States military. Others view the tactics used as intimidation and only pushing Kim Jong-Un into a position where he can only respond with force thus leading to conflict. **CITE**
President Trump has countered Kim Jong-Un’s new demands made in **August** with statements alluding to re-establishing training exercises with both Japan and South Korea **QUOTE** By acknowledging these terms, The United States risks losing the authority in setting conditions moving forward. However, disregarding the new demands puts both the United States at risk of an impulsive attack from North Korea in retaliation for being disparaged on the global stage. Neither course presents a preferable outcome. And neither course endorses safety of the American people and South Koreans from the consequences of a nuclear-centric war.
North Korea’s suspected nuclear, chemical, and biological munitions are estimated to reach American territories. However, Kim Jong-Un repeatedly praises his county’s rapid development of nuclear weapons. While the exact ordnance and its capabilities remains unconfirmed, it is accessed that if it is not in production yet, a long-range variant capable of striking the United States can be generated – and fast.
Following the summit in June 2018, President Trump prematurely declared on Twitter that North Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat. Presently, the United States is shifting its negotiations to China following a stall made by North Korea in August 2018; it is believed that the aid provided to Kim Jong-Un despite sanctions in place is reducing the global denuclearization pressure. In 2017, the President vocalized retaliating if the US remained endangered. The forward proposition did not produce results in 2017 and it is not a viable strategy in 2018. Parallel to these attack threats, The United States’ increased nuclear and radar assets like the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea between 2016 and 2017 as defenses against potential North Korea aggression. Kim Jong-Un is likely to continue possessing nuclear armament as long as indicators exist; his country’s military is outmatched globally once his missiles are depleted, or removed – maintaining possession ensures leveling of the battlefield.
Undeterred by the United Nations, North Korea has violated sanctions while continuing the testing of ballistic missiles. The mere discontinuation on joint multi-national exercises in Japan and South Korea to establish talks of denuclearization does not reinforce the implications behind the continuous offence connotation used in response to North Korea’s failure to commit to conditions set by the United States. Even with their aligned belief of Kim Jong-Un disarming his country of nuclear assets, Russia and China are interested in self-preservation rather than risking an economical or combatant crisis with their shared border. North Korea is likely to remain a nuclear threat to The United States of America as long as our military forces’ combat power outmatches their capabilities as it is seen as their foremost approach to survival in a force on force conflict.