The world is at a crossroads. A game is being played. They have made their move; it is almost a checkmate. Now, it is up to us. The timer counts down, second by second; time is running out. It may be our move, but they are in control. One wrong play, and we lose. One wrong play, and millions of people die. North Korea has made its decision. Now it is time we make ours.
1956 marks the beginning of North Korea’s Nuclear Weapon Development program. The Soviet Union began to train North Korean scientists and engineers “laying the foundation for future nuclear development,” according to the U.S. Naval Institute. It was not until May 29, 1993 that North Korea officially launched its first ballistic missile in the Sea of Japan. Nuclear explosive devices were tested in 2006, 2009 2013, twice in 2016, and although 2017 has not ended, three separate tests have been conducted.
Treaties have been entered into, and broken, but in the end, North Korea has continued its use nuclear weapons since the formation of the republic. Whether or not these threats will be carried out remain unknown, but one thing is sure: they are on the defense; protecting the people of North Korea at all costs and asserting themselves as a world power.
In truth, this is supposed to be an opinion piece about what to do about the North Korean missile crisis. But I will tell you the truth, there is truly no easy solution to this problem — no life is more important than another, and no country’s leader is any crazier than the next one. The most experienced and cultured diplomats the world has to offer have been working on this issue for years, and if they have not yet come up with a solution that appeals to every country involved, then I, as a high school sophomore definitely will not. I shall only state the obvious – North Korea has made its move, we need to decide what ours will be, not only for the people of America, but those of North Korea.
In the eyes of many, there are only two solutions to this problem. Number one, nuke North Korea, which will never, and should never be a solution to any problem. We cannot destroy those who do not agree with our methods or politics. Solution number two, and the overall best route, diplomacy. It is a true catch-22.
In the first situation, if Kim Jong-Un theoretically were to launch an atomic bomb, either at a neighboring country, such as South Korea, Japan or the United States, he would not only be met with the fury of that country but of the entire world. With a country the size of Maine, just one atomic bomb could destroy it, let alone multiple bombs. But the loss of millions of lives, cannot, and must not, be an option — no matter what city or country the people live in.
The atomic bomb has become a bargaining chip.
If nuclear war is not an option, there are the many diplomatic routes of diplomacy. The United States, can, as it has before, band together with other countries and pay North Korea, either in the form of currency or new trade sanctions, etc, hoping that they will stop deploying missiles. But what message does this send to North Korea? Every time a deal has been made, the danger of the weapon used to bargain has gone up. From chemical weapons and the shutting down of the Yongbyon Reactor in 2007 in exchange for South Korean fuel oil aid to atomic bombs, there is no step up. If the United States was to give assistance in return for the closing of the program, there is no foreseeing what type of weapon they would manufacture next.
Now there is one final option, which is in a way, both awful scenarios combined. The “fantastic”, strategic plan that President Donald Trump released on Twitter after North Korea’s largest nuclear test on September 3. In Trump’s words, “The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.” Ending trade will solve exactly none of our problems — North Korea will still have the nuclear weapons. And not only will they have the nuclear weapons, but a lack of trade, and therefore, desperation. No one knows what may happen if this path is taken, but there must be a better way.
These Tweets are not the only method that Donald Trump uses to communicate with the North Korean government. Communicate is not the correct word; no, he is provocating them. Using words such as “rogue nation” and “embarrasment” to describe the aforementioned country, he not only loses points for lack of diplomacy, but respect as well. At this point, all America has to do is play the game, and play it the best we can. Insulting another country to improve the image of our nation, or destroy North Korea’s will get us nowhere.
In this scenario, as scary as it has gotten, diplomacy is the only reasonable option. Now, option and solution are very different. America has never been in this situation before, nor do we know how to solve it. With political turmoil, a president who prefers to provoke than take action, and a country that know exactly how to push his buttons, it will only be a matter of time until this crisis bears its fruit. As a writer and citizen of America, I can only hope that no one is injured and the politicians of the world can find a solution using the proven and tried tactic of diplomacy.
So, ultimately there is no correct solution to the North Korea crisis. At this point, it is all a game, and it is our move. We better hope that we make the correct one, or soon millions of innocent people could pay the price.