Should we fear North Korea?
What have we got against North Korea? Let’s take a minute to look at history. All of Korea was occupied by Japan from 1910 to 1945. After Japan’s defeat in World War II, Korea was partitioned into a communist North and a capitalist South.
In 1950 President Harry Truman decided the U.S. needed to become involved in what was neither more nor less than a war that had begun between North and South Korea, which the North was winning. Three years later 37,000 American and 500,000 Korean soldiers were dead, also 180,000 Chinese, 1,000 British, plus over 3,000 soldiers from countries as diverse as France, Canada, Turkey and Australia. Between 2 and 3 million Korean civilians had died. At the end of the war the border between North and South at the 38th Parallel was almost exactly where it had been at the beginning.
As we retreated from North Korea, our proclaimed objective was to “bomb everything that moved.” The scorched-earth policy meant that over 600,000 tons of bombs– excluding the atomic bombs, more than were dropped in the entire Pacific theater in World War II–and 32,000 tons of napalm, were dropped on North Korea. Few buildings were left standing. The North Koreans have not forgotten this.
With a lot of U.S. help, South Korea has since become a prosperous nation. The North has remained a communist dictatorship, but aside from incidents at the border every few years, it has never threatened any other country.
Recently, like the U.S., Russia, China, England, France, Israel, India and Pakistan, North Korea has started to manufacture its own nuclear weapons, and missiles by which these can be delivered. Is this really a threat to the U.S?
North Korea is ruled by a boastful dictator who likes to talk about how evil we are. But the North Koreans have at most half a dozen nuclear weapons, and a few long range missiles that with luck just might reach the West Coast of the U.S.
The U.S. possesses some 6,800 nuclear warheads, as of the latest 2017 count. Dozens of our missiles are at this moment targeted at North Korea, to say nothing of our bombers capable of reaching the country within a matter of minutes. The waters around North Korea are patrolled by our nuclear submarines and surface fleet. At the push of a button, we could devastate the country and kill most of its people.
Is there any evidence North Korean troops are planning to cross 6,000 miles of Pacific Ocean and invade the U.S? How many North Korean terrorists have been caught on our soil? How many American troops abroad, how many American embassies have they attacked? No matter what Kim Jong-un says, realistically, what are the chances he would undertake to launch a first strike against America?
Actually, just one thing has now changed. No matter how slim the chances that a North Korean missile could penetrate our defenses and reach American soil, it is no longer an absolute 100 percent certainty that we could bomb their country to smithereens with perfect safety for ourselves.
The people who are most afraid now are our supposed friends, the South Koreans. Their country is doing well, and they have no wish to pick a fight with their northern neighbors. They know that if a war broke out between the U.S. and North Korea, millions of innocent South Koreans would die.
Realistically speaking, for America to make such a huge issue and threaten a Third World War over North Korea, is the equivalent of a grown person jumping on a chair and screaming in fear of a mouse running across the floor. No wish to insult the North Koreans, but that is what it is. Can’t we show the world we are the courageous and generous nation we would like to be, and start talking reasonably about–and with–North Korea?