Global Commentary: The weight behind Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear threat

Over the past few weeks, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has visited South Korea, Japan and China to discuss North Korea’s nuclear initiatives. According to The New York Times, Tillerson announced “all options are on the table” when it comes to dealing with these measures. Just two days after Tillerson’s statement, North Korea posted a propaganda video on YouTube depicting a United States aircraft carrier and warplane being destroyed in a computer-generated explosion.

The caption stated North Korean missiles will be “stabbed into the throat of the carrier” and the jet will “fall from the sky.” This rapid development of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal has both US citizens and leaders alarmed. However, U.S. leaders do not have the most successful reputation when it comes to confronting other nations about nuclear development.

Tillerson announced the US would take a “new approach” to dealing with North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Yet, Tillerson never described what the details of that plan would involve. Past U.S. leaders such as Barack Obama and George W. Bush made similar statements related to dealing with international nuclear affairs, describing how each approach would be new and different, yet failing to follow through with any kind of unique, ground-breaking plan.

Someone forgot to tell him that a new administration promising a new approach it can’t quite articulate is, in fact, the old approach,” said Jeffrey Lewis in The Washington Post in response to Tillerson’s announcement.

The U.S. government has a tremendous history of saying there is a plan, but never explicitly explaining what that plan is. It may seem frustrating to U.S. citizens to feel as if their government is not doing enough. Due to this, there will always be the question of how much the government is withholding from citizens.

In situations where nuclear weapons are developing at such a rapid pace, many find it hard to believe that North Korea isn’t a threat. According to The Korea Times, Kim Jong-un is believed to have spent more than $97 million dollars to fire a total of 31 ballistic missiles. It’s hard to rationalize why a country would spend such a substantial amount of money building their nuclear arsenal if it’s just an empty threat.

“They’re such a big threat because they’re so unpredictable,” said Suffolk University history professor Ron Suleski. North Korea gives off the impression that they don’t want anything to do with any other nations, yet they post threatening propaganda videos and conduct sporadic nuclear missile tests.

The U.S. is cautiously approaching this issue right now.

“In East Asia, American Diplomacy is more important than it is anywhere else” said Suleski. China may know more about North Korea than China is willing to admit.  It is possible that the U.S. also knows more about North Korea than the U.S. has divulged. For America to avoid losing China as an ally, U.S. leaders are cautiously acting as though they’re making change, even though hardly anything is being done.

History has taught us that erratic and unpredictable behavior is the essence of North Korean government. Nuclear weapons can have catastrophic consequences and  cannot be taken lightly. It is the U.S. government’s responsibility to do more than just say they’re making change and to take action before something ruinous happens.