Donald Trump, North Korea and the dangers of appeasement

 
 

With all eyes on Donald Trump’s twitter feed to see if WWIII has begun, Ciaran Busby asks whether or not his strongman rhetoric is helping or hindering the situation.

In under a month, under the Kim Jong-Un dictatorship, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles over Japan, as well as allegedly testing an extremely powerful hydrogen bomb. Apart from the consequences associated with global threat levels, there is also the aspect of international laws, historical similarities and the added threat of the U.S. President, Donald J. Trump.

In the past year, terrorism has been at the forefront of the news headlines, social media feeds, and the population’s headspace. Until recently, the North Korean dictatorship had faded from the headlines, replaced by attacks from ISIS in ever-nearing cities and regions. At the time of writing this however, Kim Jong-Un has once again come into prime focus of the media with his attempts to instil terror in the global community testing increasingly more powerful weapons of mass destruction.

 “Problems surface in the appeasement of North Korea from the United Nations in the same manner of which Britain and France appeased Nazi Germany before the onset of WWII.”

Problems surface in the appeasement of North Korea from the United Nations in the same manner of which Britain and France appeased Nazi Germany before the onset of WWII. Little has been done to condemn the dictatorship bar the efforts of world leaders’ comments on the matter. That is apart from the words of the United States President.

Although the consensus is that Trump’s tweets are the ramblings of a madman, his stance on the terror threat from the DPRK is validated. Given the historical successes of appeasing to an increasingly irrational and unhinged dictator, it is perhaps a rational reaction to threaten “Fire and Fury.”

That said, it would be unquestionably wrong for Trump actually to launch an offensive on the state. Nuclear strikes on the country would cause irreparable damage to the region. During the Cold War, the world hung under the constant threat of nuclear war. Luckily, nuclear war was averted and a peace was reached whereby the nuclear threat between the USA and the former USSR is now non-existent. The cold war was enough to suffice the thirst of power hungry and bloodthirsty leaders, resorting to a competitive show of aeronautics in the space race.

However, while some positives arose from the cold war, notably the space race, this nuclear conflict has only the potential for harm on both sides.

“However critical the international community may be of Trump and his transactional worldview, we should consider the possibility that he is right in this circumstance. If fear will restrict the menace from the DPRK commander-in-chief, then fear is what we should instil.”

The ultimate problem we face currently is that our world leaders are not prepared to face a tyrannical dictator, hell bent on destroying the United States, their territories, and their allies. Trump would prefer to break with the policies of the Obama administration in relation to Nork Korea, and take a far more aggressive and hawkish tone. While it is incredibly unlikely that he would unleash the USA’s nuclear arsenal on the country, he is not above threatening to do so. The UN’s up till now tepid response to the North Korean situation is changing. Led by the US United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, stronger sanctions have been imposed. An inexcusable flaw in any other president, that of being easily influenced by top aides and general, is perhaps the saving grace of this situation. So far, at least, it seems that cooler heads are prevailing.

It all whittles down to a few unsavoury facts. There is nothing that anyone can do, bar defend against the potential of all-out war. Apart from speaking candidly on the matter, all that world leaders can participate in is strengthening missile defence systems, implementing protective alarm systems for their citizens, and construct bunkers and bomb shelters to protect against an offensive attack.

Japan, has unfortunately faced the consequences of nuclear war once before and knows all too well the horrors of such an act of a Weapon of Mass Destruction being deployed. North Korea launching missiles in their direction is not only disrespectful to the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their lives at the end of WWII but increasingly worrying as it creates the potential of another Japanese city burning as the world watches on.

In retrospect, the atrocities of war are real. Relative peace has blessed our generation in the west regarding the threat from a world or nuclear war, and we must remain confident in the experience and judgement of our presidents, generals, and politicians to do the right thing, if anyone knows what that is. However critical the international community may be of Trump and his transactional worldview, we should consider the possibility that he is right in this circumstance. If fear will restrict the menace from the DPRK commander-in-chief, then fear is what we should instil. History has shown time and time again that appeasement simply does not work, and in this case a hardline military stance alongside crippling UN sanctions may be the way to, if not diffuse, defend more than ignoring or appeasing.

 

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