The US vs. The "Smart Cookie"

A Meeting?

After weeks of escalating tensions between two missile-trigger-happy countries, President Trump has proposed something completely different from the status quo: An unprecedented meeting between the leader of the world's most isolationist nation, the "Smart Cookie" Trump referred to, and the most powerful country to ever exist on this Earth. This proposal, though aimed at defusing the situation, is in no way close to resolving any tensions, and depending on how a general climate of relations with the state go, may not even change things for the better.

Capabilities?

Many Americans already believe that North Korea has nuclear capabilities, able to reach their southern neighbor of South Korea and the shores of Japan. Their nuclear warheads, however, have yet to gain the capability to reach US soil, and still need a few years to do so. Even so, the brash and aggressive actions of Kim Jong Un have demonstrated that the rogue state is already a threat to the security and resolve of the US and its allies. Currently, we are at the highest points of tensions, as the spring always brings North Korea's chain of patriotic holidays that always brings to the nation to flex its military power to the world. 

 Kim Jong Un observes a “tactical rocket firing” drill of the KPA Strategic Rocket Force on 29 June 2014 near Wo’nsan, Kangwo’n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un observes a “tactical rocket firing” drill of the KPA Strategic Rocket Force on 29 June 2014 near Wo’nsan, Kangwo’n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

China?

North Korea, notorious for violating international sanctions on their development program, has taken another step down the line of making other countries uncomfortable. China, though is seen as North Korea's only ally, has begun questioning their commitment to the nation. Kim Jong Un's attitude in leading has strayed from the legacy of both his father and grandfather, as he has completely disregarded the views and suggestions of the longtime ally. China is exasperated by its insubordinate ally and its worries have grown along with the sophistication of North Korea's weapons. Even though Kim Jong Un is a horrible headache, China still has to make up its mind on continuing to support the state, as they know that North Korea is a vital buffer state to prevent the US security umbrella from expanding to their front door. 

Strategy?

Trump is a deal maker. We cannot predict what he will do. His unpredictability can be good and bad in various contexts. His decision in this situation is the linchpin that determines whether a North Korean regime collapses, a deal is worked out, an international conflict erupts, or something in between. 

Several options, however, are on the table. 

More International Sanctions- UN sanctions have never worked in the past, and there is no sign that they would work now, but it's still an option. 

Stronger Economic Stringency- The US currently is pressing for a stronger embargo on the reclusive state, but it would require a strong coalition of nations. 

Pre-emptive Strike- The US use of ICBM's and other strike capabilities has the possibility of destroying North Korea's nuclear weapon supply, but would almost definitely lead to a direct ground based assault on South Korea with its 10 million person population of Seoul, and the 28,000 stationed US troops around the country. 

Negotiations- Normally used as an excuse for North Korea to beg for aid, and then continue constructing warheads, we must see how these talks play out during the Trump Administration. 

 A US Carrier Strike Group conducting training exercise with Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force

A US Carrier Strike Group conducting training exercise with Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force

As Trump adds more firepower to the North Korean military celebrations, a nuclear capable submarine equipped with guided missiles, and an aircraft carrier strike group, everything is in a state of confusion, but we'll keep you updated with more. Stay connected with The Conservative Nut!