A.K.A. Why I Can’t Sleep at Night
Staff Doomsday Clock
In October of 1962, The United States faced one of the scariest times in our entire existence. Americans on one side, Russians on the other, neither backing down. This 13-day event became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Now it is known as one of President Kennedy’s greatest achievements during his presidency. However, it was a terrifying time for all Americans.
Unfortunately, nuclear war seems to again be lurching forward, thanks to everyone’s favorite dictator, Kim Jong Un. The North Korean supreme leader has been working overtime to inspire fear in the hearts of Americans and South Koreans alike. The North Korean government has made claims that they have missiles capable of reaching the mainland United States. Guam was also threatened with a missile strike (Oh so NOW you care about Guam).
President Trump however, has assured the North Koreans that they will be met with “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen” should they attempt any military action against the United States. Now besides sounding like Daenerys Targaryen, the president has made it clear that he’s not messing around this time. We also have confirmation from Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis, that any attack on the U.S. will be met with “an extreme military response, according to the Guardian.
As an additional response to North Korea aggression, The U.N. has dropped its “highest sanctions ever” on the country, according to the Washington Post. These new sanctions target North Korea’s oil and textile exports, adding to an already increasing amount of sanctions against the nation. Reportedly, sanctions have now reached the point where 90 percent of North Korea’s exports are under sanction. It’s been suspected however, that these extreme sanctions might still not be enough.
Furthermore, it was revealed that on September 14th, North Korea launched its second ballistic missile test in a month over Japan, according to ABC. The missile traveled a total distance of around 2,300 miles before it landed in the ocean. South Korea then launched its own missile as a defense tactic to stave off further aggression from Kim Jong-Un. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has urged Russia and China to take their own direct action against the dictator.
So it’s clear that nuclear war could be on the horizon. Both leaders have their fingers over the nuclear buttons and no one seems to be blinking. It’s also not clear as to whether China will help the U.S. or North Korea. The Chinese government is worried about potential consequences of a conflict between the United States and North Korea. China has a vested trade interest with North Korea, according to the Washington Post. It is also likely that war could displace North Korean citizens and send refugees into China.
Because of the lingering rumors and threats from both sides, people have started to get scared. And that’s understandable, but we also must understand what is it that makes North Korea tick? What are its founding principles?
North Korea was founded by Kim Il-Sum, the leader of the Communist uprising movement in Korea while it was still unified. The North Korean government has remained in the hands of the Kim family, including the current dictator Kim Jong-Un. The Kim family has relied on having a cult of personality that depicts their supreme leader as nothing less than the most amazing and perfect man on Earth.
Another key component of the North Korean regime tactic is the glorification of the military. According to sources, North Korea spends almost a quarter of its GDP on military spending. Now their GDP isn’t as large as say, the U.S. but that’s still a significant percentage when you consider that South Korean only spends about 5 or 6 percent of its GDP on the military. On North Korean television, weapons demonstrations are often broadcast showing the might of the North Korean army. It’s unclear how much of this arsenal is functional or real; it’s possible that some of the film has been doctored.
Finally, the last piece of the dictator puzzle is inspiring a hatred for all things American. There is even a museum dedicated to how terrible the U.S. was to them during the Korean War. Brainwashing is part of keeping the North Korean people focused on a different goal other than relieving their own suffering.
Kim Jong-Un is still a young dictator. Unless deposed, his rule isn’t ending anytime soon. As a result, tensions could still be high at a point even up to his death. It’s unclear now how problems between the two countries will be resolved. In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed and hope the world doesn’t end.