President Trump attended his first UN General Assembly this week, where he delivered a very "Trumpy" 41-minute speech on topics including Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Venezuela’s economic collapse, the threat of radical Islamic terrorism and of course North Korea’s missile tests.
“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice than to totally destroy North Korea,” he told world leaders. “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”
Now, to be honest, Trump would probably only use nuclear weapons as a last stitch effort. As crazy as Trump may be, he and his minions are smart enough not to get us all killed (hopefully). The issue here is that North Korea doesn't know if Trump is serious. According to reporters inside North Korea, the whole country believes Trump and the United States are planning an attack.
North Korea has been the biggest national-security test of Trump’s young presidency. The rogue nation has conducted numerous missile tests in violation of UN resolutions, and more recently, has tested a hydrogen bomb and threatened to attack Guam. Many fear that because North Korea believes the US is an immediate threat, they may attempt to strike first.
Contrary to what most people would consider a victory, the people of North Korea believe they would win the war with the US if only a few thousand of their people survived. This makes negotiations with the country that much harder. Trump knows an orchestrated effort by the United Nations is the best chance we have to peacefully denuclearize North Korea.
“The scourge of our planet today is small regimes that violate every principle [on which] the United Nations is based,” said Trump. “They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries. If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.”
In what may have been a veiled jab at China, Trump criticized nations that “would not only trade with such a regime but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict.”
Trump does have a point here... (yes, I know ew). China has been providing North Korea with fuel and resources, making their weapon programs possible. Many believe China is curious to see how North Korea will challenge the United States. But most also agree a partnership with China to sanction North Korea is the best way to defuse the situation. Being that without resources, Kim Jong-un would not be able to continue his missile tests.
Yet many Republicans state the United States has tried sanctions and they have not worked. What they don't say is that the present sanctions placed on North Korea are far less severe than those placed on Iran to force their hands... and they were nowhere as near of a threat as North Korea is now.
The message should be clear. Nuclear war is not an option. The United States must be able to negotiate and work with leaders (yes, even dictators) to prevent nuclear war. If the United States and Russia could make peace with Russian missiles 90 miles from the United States, we can make peace now.
Trump's rhetoric may be entertaining (I even had to chuckle at "Rocket Man"), but the truth of the matter is that it's dangerous. The North Koreans are as confused by Trump as we are. The last thing we need is for Trump to make threats or antagonize Kim Jong-un.
Trump, you say you want to, "make America great again," how about you start with not getting us all killed.