by Graham Pierrepoint
North Korea – the reclusive state overseen by incumbent leader Kim Jong-Un – continues to court controversy in international media and politics thanks to its decisions to test missiles, to implement controversial human rights practices and, in many cases, to detain foreign nationals as a result of their own divisive legislation. The state also still provides capital punishment – and is consistently brought forward as an example of a nation in need of human rights intervention. However, despite such outcry from overseas, the nation has remained unmoved – and the dynasty in charge has remained so for decades. With Donald Trump having been sworn in as US President earlier this year, it seemed that the US’ relationship with Pyongyang could change – and it has, at least in terms of some of the rhetoric being used.
Trump has previously voiced his concern over the reclusive country, as have Presidents before him – and it has recently emerged that he is keen to take action against Kim Jong Un should there be any threat made to US citizens. Senator Lindsey Graham advised press recently that Trump had spoken to him directly about what he would be willing to do should North Korea continue to progress with missile developments and testing – that the US President would be prepared to enter war with the country should its programs persist.
Mr Graham advised that Trump was keen to assert that Mr Kim would not be allowed to ‘have a missile that could hit America’. “If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die over here – and (Trump)’s told me that to my face,” the Republican Senator stated. Indeed, a US President’s willingness to defend their country is admirable – but when it comes to the escalating drama surrounding North Korea and their ongoing testing, many are unsure as the best option to take – should this mean war or otherwise.
North Korea has recently put intercontinental ballistic missiles into testing in recent weeks – missiles that could potentially reach the edge of the US, as close as Hawaii – and it’s thought that further development may mean that missiles with a greater reach could arrive in their arsenal in the near future. The US, meanwhile, though not in reaction to Pyongyang, ensured that their own nuclear arsenal was up to scratch.
Where will it all end? No one is sure – but Trump appears to be very clear on where he stands regarding Mr Kim.