North Korea, the small communist country of Asia is in the news once again. This country which has closed its borders to western influence now receives a lot of attention from the same West which it has shunned, albeit it for the wrong reasons. Is it really of such importance that North Korea be watched so closely?
According to the book, The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, the 36th law states that: “By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility. The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him; and a small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix it.” Not to call the above book the Holy Grail of international politics and power, this typifies what the United States has elevated North Korea to. All this was made possible by former US president Bush’s aggressive and pro-war agenda against enemies of the US both real and “perceived”. Some people might argue that the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred because of a single man: Osama bin Laden and therefore, a country such as North Korea should be monitored very closely. There are a lot of arguments against that line of reasoning.
First, considering North Korea a threat is simply the US government’s way of trying to get a handle a situation that is out of their hands. North Korea is a country closed to foreigners (and it also actively monitors it own citizens), therefore, intelligence gathering is virtually impossible for the US intelligence agencies. Saying North Korea is a country capable of causing harm to the US is akin to a blind person swinging a stick at anything that moves because he or she does not know what it is. The only evidence that supports US claims is an alleged underground weapon test carried out by North Korea in October 2006 that the US alleges was a plutonium bomb after measuring air samples.
Next, consider the Iraqi situation. Despite the late Saddam Hussein’s posturing (and the US government’s claims) Iraq possessed no weapons capable of being fired at US soil. Such countries like Iraq and North Korea do not have the finance and manpower and knowledge for such projects and depend on exaggerated claims to keep enemies irritated and at bay. This situation here is not the same as hijacking planes and crashing them into buildings.
It is pertinent to note that the supposed missile test was a failure. While North Korea insisted they were only launching a satellite into space, the US and their allies such as Japan insisted that it was actually a missile launch but either way it failed. This is the same situation as the missile tests – which North Korea carried out in July 2006 – where they fired seven missiles which were also considered a failure. This fact buttresses the second point made here that the North Korea could not presently possess the technology or manpower or finance to manufacture a missile that could actually hurt the United States of America.
Another important fact to note is that the US is considered the greatest power in the world as regards conventional warfare. North Korea is a country which is thousands of miles away from the US. A missile launched from that country could not actually make it to the US. The US has got one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world. There are submarines armed with missiles (both nuclear and non-nuclear) that currently patrol the Pacific Ocean. There are the Patriot missiles whose work is to seek out launched missiles, intercept and destroy them; and finally, there are reconnaissance planes in the sky that could relay information as regards a missile launch from that nation.
Some would argue that North Korea would probably attack one of the US allies like Japan instead of the US itself. It is important that Japan and other US allies be allowed to handle their own fights. It was United States’ involvement in the Korean War that resulted in the creation of North Korea and now still, it continues to interfere in the affairs of that country. The United States should remember that every country in the world reserves the right to be a sovereign and independent nation and cannot have their activities determined by another nation.
Finally, the US should consider the lives of its citizens and realize that this age of terror is in a major way its own doing. It is the United States’ penchant for getting involved in every act of aggression that occurs around the world that has made it the focus for all sorts of attacks. Dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, getting involved in the Korean and Vietnam wars, invading Iraq twice, occupying Afghanistan, sanctioning any country that does not march to its beat, and other such shows of power are all fuel for the growing anti-Americanism around the world. It would be wise not to add a certain North Korea to this already infamous list.