The Korean Peninsula. It is one of the most tension filled territory in the world with two sides eyeing each other across the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) everyday. The South and North Korean armies are always on alert, ready to attack each other at a given notice. However, this tension filled territory has recently seen an increase in fear as North Korea has been developing nuclear technology, which North Korea has implemented to make nuclear missiles.
North Korea’s nuclear development has caused many countries to become wary of the Korean peninsula. One of these countries is the United States, who is an ally of South Korea. To understand how the US and South Korea became allies, it is important to know the history of the Korean War, which served as proxy war between the US and the USSR. At the time, the USSR chose to back a communist N. Korea, while the US backed a democratic S. Korea. As N. Korea invaded S. Korea, the US committed troops to stop the spread of communism. By the end of the war, a peace armistice was signed, dividing S. and N. Korea along the 38th parallel. Even though the war ended, the US has been an ally of S. Korea in hopes of maintaining stability between the two countries.
With the development of nuclear weapons, North Korea has no doubt increased instability within the region as the US has scrambled to maintain stability in the region. Although N. Korea has been known to have been developing nuclear weapons, the reason why current developments are so alarming is because of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, or ICBMs. These missiles can potentially allow N. Korea to strike the US from the Korean peninsula, causing experts in both the military and the White House to worry. However, what is more worrisome is the way the US has decided to deal with the nuclear threat of N. Korea: fighting fire with fire.
President Trump has vowed to show force in the face of N. Korea’s nuclear threat, leading N. Korea to further advance their nuclear weaponry, which is now capable of passing the west coast of the US. In addition, the US has decided to slap on new sanctions against N. Korea, leading to further tension to build. With this build up in tension, the path the US and other countries take in dealing with the nuclear arming of N. Korea will be interesting to say the least as it may serve as precedent for years to come.