March 2016Opinion2016

North Korea Is Not A Threat

By Alexander Stringer
Staff Writer

On February 7, North Korea launched a satellite/ICBM into orbit that, according to CNN, immediately began decaying, bringing much of the object back to Earth in bits. The launch came as a complete shock to the world, and forced an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, who issued an immediate condemnation, according to the Guardian.

The whole event has led to a renewal of international talks and, indeed, fear, of the rogue nation stuck between two modern economies, and how best to quell the last cult of personality in the world. Yet the hype and disgruntlement concerning North Korea is wholly unfounded and simply a waste of energy on the behalf of world leaders, as the regime will never be able to muster enough support and power to serve as a legitimate threat to any nation.

The argument against the North Korean threat is simple: the regime has become too ingrained and too radical to be able to actually muster anything remotely resembling a war effort.

The greatest threat the Democratic People’s Republic poses, according to the international community, is from the products of its rogue nuclear program. However, it must be remembered that there has yet to be a missile test anywhere close to a success – look at the laughable test in 2012, where the projectile barely made it off of land before crashing, as discussed by BBC.

While the world is beginning to pick up on these continuously failed attempts and ignore tests, no nation has yet to cease its concern over the nuclear tests that North Korea conducted in the past. Of the four tests that have been noted, there is no proof that the nation has the potential to build a hydrogen bomb outside of announcements from a government that also claims that its past-president had such a monumental birth its transpiring created a new star in the sky. Moreover, the nation has almost no means of accessing material that is capable of undergoing fission, having been sanctioned out of the ability to buy up uranium from the market, and the back-channels and black market are only so saturated with uranium, likely forcing such a nation to wait decades to actually produce a sizable number of warheads (and likely it will never reach the hundreds and thousands of the P5 nations).

Yet, more than the lack of nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them outside of physical placement, the North Korean Army is something almost impossible not to mock, what with their Soviet-Era weaponry and biplane air force, as reported by BBC.

While they have national conscription, and one of the largest militaries in the world, it is an aged army held together with duct tape and borrowed time. When faced with a modern force, who are equipped with artillery capable of hitting targets from miles away and missiles that can span continents, the North Korean army would be thrown at a concrete wall for all of their effectiveness.

North Korea is indeed a nation to watch on the world stage as a final proof of concept in totalitarianism and complete brainwashing. However, it should not ever be taken as a real threat, considering it is a nation that is only backed by equally-weak rogue states. Their weak and wholly inadequate military would have no chance against the modern armies of South Korea and her allies. In short, the threats of war from the DPRK should only ever receive laughs for the jokes they are.

Alexander Grey

As a member of the Class of 2019 and a Diplomacy major at the Seton Hall University School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Alexander Stringer focuses on Eastern European studies and state security. Being a scholar of Classics for fours years, he aims to apply Roman and Greek ideas of government to the modern geopolitical climate.

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