North Korea, colloquially known as the “hermit country,” has been forced to play the isolationist card, owing to its centralized economy. North Korea has always focused on armament since its inception bound to an authoritarian system of government; additionally, North Korea has categorically expanded aggressive ties to its southern neighbor, South Korea, as well as Western nations. Since its early integration in 1948, and under a strict form of a dictatorial rule by Kim II Sung, North Korea has been able to morph into a nuclear weaponry state as depicted through its chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons as well as the short-and-medium-range missiles exhibitions (Kaitlyn).
Kim II Sung (1948-1994), the North Korea’s first dictator, developed “Juche,” primarily known as the principle based on self-reliance. Kim II Sung then allotted the North Korean professional military the necessary strength that enabled it to participate in North Korea’s decision-making strategies. Other notable leaders Kim Jong-II (1994-2011), the son of Kim II Sung, became one of the second most decorated tyrants in North Korea’s history. Kim II Sung’s grandson, that is, Kim Jong-un (2011-present) extremely furthered the domineering nature bound to the fundamental principle that dealt with the concept of profound self-reliance. It was considered essential to concentrate the military’s power due to the existence of pressure that indicated the signs of the collapsing regime during the 1990s. The continuous and brutal dictatorial rule has always been a priority for the North Korean leaders for decades. Such an approach forms the fundamental basis which implies why North Korea has a firm resolution to acquiring capabilities in nuclear weapons (Olivia B.).
The initial approaches by the North Korean oppressive regime to embark on the manufacture of nuclear weapons had its bases within the 1950’s era. The US bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the adverse effects of the Korean War, provoked Kim II Sung to embark on nuclear weapon manufacturing. Kim Jong-II became crowned as the heir of Kim II Sung in the 1990s. He revived the momentum of developing the nuclear weapon program. During the beginning of his era, Kim Jong-II had to confront an economic condition that was deteriorating; it was also during this period when he had to face the diminishing association of North Korea with the Soviet Union, its essential ally. Historical records note 2003 to be the year when North Korea made its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). In the year 2004, statistics revealed that the North Korean Army possessed plutonium in its highly enriched state which was capable of producing about six atomic bombs. The culmination of the North Korean military to acquire nuclear weapons got its root as from October 9, 2006, when North Korea conducted nuclear tests thus drawing the United Nations attention as per the 1718 Resolution on October 14, 2006 (Kaitlyn).
The UN automatically responded to North Korea’s oppressive militarism. Such a move saw the banning of armament and military reparations, military training, as well as nuclear technology. Importation of luxury commodities had to get banned equally. The nuclear tests provoked Siegfried Hecker, an initial director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory to visit Pyongyang. There were speculations that North Korea had about 40-50 kilograms of plutonium capable of manufacturing approximately eight atomic bombs. However, six kilograms of plutonium became utilized in the reported nuclear test. The emboldened focus by Kim Jong-II’s military to concentrate on nuclear weapons despite the existence of sanctions and liberal critics by the United Nations made the development of the nuclear weapons essential to the North Koreans. Discussions bound to nuclear proliferation hit the international community. Upon Kim Jong-II’s death in 2011, his tactful son, Kim Jong-un assumed the Korean dictatorial power.
American presidential Responses to North Korea’s Pursuit of Nuclear Weapons
During his presidency, Clinton (1993-2001) claimed that the North Korean regime would solely pay the prices of its offensive nuclear programs; a cost that probably a well-standing nation would not be able to survive within its current generation. In November 1993, through one of his press conferences, Clinton hinted a warning to Pyongyang concerning the waging of a possible warfare. However, Clinton could not restore normalcy. He further hinted out that he could not believe in an eventual defeat of South Korea and the United States in case the North Koreans waged an inevitable warfare.
President William Clinton and his administration adopted a carrot approach in oil and aid approaches to North Korea. Clinton approved a nuclear plan agreement that forged towards the provision of more than four hundred billion US dollars in the form of energy assistance to North Korea’s regime for ten years. In October 1994, Clinton, through his emissary, Jimmy Carter, America signed a diplomacy deal with Pyongyang. North Korea would then get obliged to dismantle its offensive nuclear program to civilian nuclear power. President Clinton viewed his heralded program extension to North Koreans as “a good deal.” In the process, the American government and the international community had to again enact stringent surveillance on North Korea’s military program to ensure that normalcy gets regained. North Korea would only and especially join to being part of the rest of the world within the international arena in case of plans and measures enacted to disband its nuclear program. The then North Korean regime, through adopting a hardliner’s role forfeited President Clinton’s memorandum of understanding during the early 2000s. Since Clinton’s era, North Korea has always cherished nuclear weaponry. Clinton’s regime had paved the way for Pyongyang’s focus on nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, President George Bush (2001-2009) through his administration opted to adopt a stick approach, which is, adopting punishing sanctions against Pyongyang. Bush infamously amalgamated North Korea with nations such as Iraq and Iran. In one of his State of the Union address, in the year 2002, Bush slammed North Korea’s regime bound to terrorism. North Korea had adopted an armament policy, arming itself with weapons of mass destruction as well as long-range missiles and subjecting its citizens to starvation in the process. During his presidential term, Bush pledged and admitted that the US had to enact measures to liberate the people of North Korea from terror. Bush, a hardliner in the real sense, could not let go his favorite term “the axis of evil” against North Korea in the year 2008. Instead, Bush claimed that Pyongyang was obliged to thoroughly verify North Korea’s nuclear weaponry through its uranium enrichment program. The North Korean leader had to adopt specific measures and decisions to solve the nuclear weapon problem, and that was the most important thing to President Bush. President Bush could not explain the North Korea’s nuclear weapon puzzles.
During Bush’s reign, the North Koreans under Kim Jong-II again outwitted the Americans through a successfully devised game plan just as they had skillfully done during Clinton’s era. As the Americans waited for North Korea to collapse under the influence of sanctions, Pyongyang successfully devised a pro-nuclear weapon thus changing the stakes against all the possible future sanctions.
President Barrack Obama (2009-2017) proceeded Bush’s American reign, and during his term, he did not adopt the carrot-stick approach towards North Korea. Obama had a steadfast resolution that helped minimize the mounting tension from the North Korea’s oppressive nuclear tests. President Barack Obama categorically warned the North Korean army from conducting nuclear bomb tests. The Chinese government faced blames for not alleviating Pyongyang’s aggression in the process. In one of his warnings in 2009, President Obama hinted about Pyongyang’s provocative and an extraordinary nuclear regime. Obama’s focus was to initiate a diplomatic relationship; the kind of diplomacy to get adopted had to engage all sides in trying to forge for a possible solution. North Korea had to get bound to blames for not adhering to diplomatic rules. However, in his 2014 visitation to the South Korean world, Obama categorically hinted that the United States would not hesitate to exploit its military might as a possible measure of preventing North Korea, a “pariah state,” from sparking nuclear tension at the expense of starving its citizens. Instead, Obama hinted that it would instead get considered noble for North Korea to fuel the dreams and possible hopes of its citizens. Obama added that isolation of North Korea resulted due to its recognized armament policy. Meanwhile, the American army had to prepare for an inevitable ambush of North Korea.
It was during the culmination of Obama’s rule when Kim Jong-un, the country’s founding grandson became the heir of North Korea after the demise of his ruling father, Kim Jong-Il. The young and witty Kim continued with North Korea’s traditional nuclear weapon program. The US initially thought the then young Obama would help stop North Korea, but instead, Obama doubled down. History records 26th September 2013, as the period when the young, ambitious Kim tested a nuclear warhead which he entirely claimed that it could appropriately fit within a long-range missile bound at North Koreas disposal. A worldwide tension grew instead.
The Clinton, the Bush, and the Obama’s regimes had difficulties in handling Pyongyang’s nuclear weapon rhetoric’s. From their possible and efficiently proposed plans of unleashing military “fire and fury,” no stringent measures had been adopted against North Korea continuous armament policy subject to nuclear weapons. The United States response to the North Korean question has been nothing but soft. Pyongyang has continued and is currently pursuing the nuclear weapon agenda as per his regime’s profound ideologies.
Donald Trump’s Approach to North Korea’s Pursuit of Nuclear Weapons
Currently, there has been a mounting tension between Donald Trump’s America and North Korea. From Trump’s American focus and promises of unleashing the act of “fire and fury,” against Pyongyang, Trump has always and categorically branded the North Korea’s totalitarian form of governance a “maniac.” President Donald Trump has also and specifically been mark timing around with his rhetoric’s concerning the Pacific Asian nation; Trump’s approach and ideologies towards North Korea have been nothing substantially. Instead, Trump has always been soft and gentle.
However, as tension continued to mount, Donald Trump and his administration have decided to adopt a hardline procedure as a measure of extending a warning to the current North Korea leader Kim Jong-un against his provocative idea of exploiting nuclear technology that would eventually foresee the striking of the United States, especially within the Guam territory. Trump was quoted claiming that, “in case of any nuclear extensions and activities in Guam territory, Kim Jong-un would have to pay for the damages caused. North Korea will face the US military attack, an attack in an event-like form; the one humanity has never witnessed before”. Despite Donald Trump’s profound and harsh rhetoric’s in equal measures, Trump has not been the only United States President to have dealt with the challenge of North Korea’s nuclear arsenals.
As much as some philosophical critics would argue that Donald Trump is tempting an inevitable war by extending taunts and threats at Kim Jong-un, that alone should not be the fact. The North Korean leadership has always perceived the past United States presidents, the likes of Clinton, Bush, and Obama to be “very gentle”. Currently, the North Korean governance cannot fathom what to make of Donald Trump, the sole leader at the helm of the American government. Trump’s approach and focus in adopting the “fire and fury,” strategy, that form of a phrase had never been exploited or used by any of the former American presidents in response towards North Korea’s nuclear weapon program. Such an unfathomable rhetoric is probably one of the primary reasons why Pyongyang has not yet extended her plan of testing a long-range missile towards the Guam, an American territory. Again, Pyongyang has not executed any nuclear test since Donald Trump categorically declared that America, through the necessary support of its allies would, “extremely turn North Korea to ashes,” and then punish the “responsible Rocket Man” who operates North Korean nuclear weapons.
Trump’s linguistic aggressiveness is bound to limits. Officials from North Korea get puzzled with the seriousness of Trump’s military action instead. Trump’s unpredictability has worked in impacting normalcy to some extent thus preventing a severe escalation of the North Korean crisis. Trump’s approach of imposing extreme sanction towards the North Korean economy has traumatized the North Korean governance. In his recent United Nations speech, Trump gave a hint of Pyongyang’s recklessness and promised to hit back in case of a military ambush from North Korea. Bill Clinton (1993-2001) was bound for blames for being responsible for the success the North Koreans cherish as depicted through their nuclear weaponry; the Clintons had been accountable in empowering the North Koreans recklessly during the 1990s. The US would attack North Korea possibly if she attacked either the US, American allies or South Korea.
Impact naysayers have had regarding President Trump’s efforts
From a critical point of view, naysayers get subjected to the specific opinion that the possible approach by Trump of devising ways devoid of international negotiations and policy negotiations with North Koreas’ Pyongyang should be the forward force to reckon. The current and continuous economic sanctions on North Korea continue to traumatize the regime. However, such economic sanctions cannot get felt in the short run; it would take a longer period of about 12 months for the economic sanction effects to hit the economy. Trump’s approach of injecting economic sanctions on North Korea would lead to the current regime’s eventual isolation from the rest of the world. North Korea had already acquired weapons of mass destruction long before 1994 and could have enacted measures to test such specific bombs on their enemies at any time. Besides, North Korea dishonored its 1994 agreement with the US when it embarked on enriching its nuclear plants through the adoption of the uranium program. The US-North Korea 1994 Accord had failed to initiate and accomplish diplomacy hence stating unequivocally that the North Korean regime was bound to exercising its nuclear weapons strategy (Peter and Sanger).
Donald Trump had to solely blame the President Clinton regime for its support towards the North Korean government during the 1990’s (David). Following such Donald Trump’s remarks bound to a hardliner’s approach to North Korea, where economic sanctions were the way forward, and some critics differed with Trump. Trump’s politically motivated rival, Hillary Clinton together with pro-Obama’s administrative officials had to rebuke Trump following his aggressive rhetoric adopted against North Korea. Trump’s handling of North Korea’s puzzle faced mixed reactions from humanity.
Despite the existence of several reversals by Donald Trump, some analysts have the belief that the change and the touch of Trump’s approach towards North Korea would lead to at least a little reshape by Pyongyang. It is such changes that would help seal the regimes cracks experienced since the 1950s; such kind of changes is what humanity has been yearning to achieve. Trumps ideologies against North Korea
What if Analysis on North Koreas’ Situation
The challenge of the Korean nuclear program proves to be one of the most difficult and uncertain issues affecting the world’s security. Currently, North Korea’s nuclear weapon program and armament policy have tapped the attention as well as a deep sense of focus from the Asian Pacific territories. Since the North Korea’s problem continues to persist, it provokes the international community.
Since Kim Jong-un assumed leadership in 2011 as totalitarian governor of North Korea, the nation has always exhibited a continuous diplomatic issue with America. However, due to the constrained relationship existing between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump’s America, there will still be constant nuclear weapon tension facing the world’s nations. The North Korean regime has always proved that it has the focus to concentrate on the manufacture of nuclear weapons and its generations cherish their military ideologies which they would never let go. The American pressure by Donald Trump to North Korea will possibly tighten negative diplomatic between the two nations. Besides, it would be possible for North Korea to attack their southern neighbors, South Korea in case of the American troop’s departure from South Korea. War is inevitable!
David Jackson. Trump blames Hillary Clinton for N. Korea nuclear weapon program, 2017, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/09/20/trump-blames-hillary-clinton-north-korea-nuclear-weapons-program/684183001/ Accessed on Nov. 14, 2017.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn. From Trump to Clinton, how US Presidents have dealt with Pyongyang, August 11, 2017, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/08/11/from-trump-to-clinton-how-us-presidents-have-dealt-with-north-korea.html. Accessed on Nov. 14, 2017.
Olivia B. Waxman. Time.com: How North Koreas Nuclear History Began, March 7, 2017, http://time.com/4692045/north-korea-nuclear-weapons-history/.Accessed on Nov. 14, 2017.
Peter Baker and David E. Sanger. White House Weighs Response to N. Korea’s Threats, Sep. 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/world/asia/trump-north-korea-kim-jong-un.html. Accessed on Nov. 14, 2017.