Global Peace and Security

How Real is the North Korean Threat?

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By Abdullah Ariyan Islam

US President Donald Trump has declared a few days ago that his government would deal with North Korea’s consistently aggressive attitude with ‘fire and fury’. But every such warning seems only to fuel up the nationalistic rage of North Korea, which sees the US as a threat to its sovereignty. It is as if President Trump’s words were exactly what they were expecting, and now the nation has yet another excuse to feel threatened.

Tensions between North Korea and the United States have existed ever since the 1950 Korean War between the North and the South. In the war, the US had intervened in favor of the South and this had eventually led to an armistice in 1953. The world might have moved on, but North Korea, especially with its young leader Kim Jong-Un, has never for once stopped considering the US as a threat to the communist dictatorship that rules over the rugged, isolationist nation with an iron fist. North Korea has one of the poorest human rights conditions in the world, with the Kim Dynasty wielding absolute power for decades. Prior to coming to power after his father’s death in 2011, Kim Jong Un had little political and less military experience. Determined to hold firmly to his power, he has purged many politicians whose loyalty he doubted, and has used propaganda to develop a cult of personality around him to gain favor of his countrymen who had barely known of his existence a few years ago.

In 2006, the country ran its first nuclear weapon test, openly announcing its nuclear power. Despite of an UNSC resolution and strict sanctions over the country by the UN, North Korea has refused to give up its nuclear weapons in the name of defense. After a series of failed treaties and more sanctions, the nation launched its second and third nuclear tests in 2008 and 2013 respectively. In 2016, it claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb, which is more powerful by far than any atomic bomb. As of now, it has also tested quite a few ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. North Korea claims that its intercontinental ballistic missile can target any place on Earth. The nation’s latest threat was to attack the US-held island of Guam using the missiles, but it has since withdrawn the announcement to the relief of Guam’s inhabitants.

North Korea might have a huge army of millions, but the military has many drawbacks too. Its planes, tanks and weapons are seriously outdated and are no match for high-tech US equipment. In the unlikely event of a war, the nation can only last a few days of battling. But if a war does ensue, casualties would be high. The South Korean capital Seoul which is only about 60 km away from the Korean border would be in a dangerously vulnerable position. Therefore, a war must be avoided at all costs while simultaneously keeping the troublesome country’s hostilities in bay.

About the Author

 Abdullah Ariyan Islam
Creative Director and 
Chief Editor of the Global Peace and Security Department
Ariyan is a student of Al-Hidaayah International School. His interests include reading books from across all genres, studying scientific, mathematical and philosophical concepts, conducting science experiments, travelling, debating, talking to people about their views, and community service.

One thought on “How Real is the North Korean Threat?

  1. Hey I am curious to find out what blog system you have been working with? I’m having some minor security problems with my latest blog and I’d like to find something more secure. Do you have any solutions? thank you


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