President Trump continues to ramp up the war rhetoric with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Last week, GCN’s very own Anthony Varriano wrote about the “dick wagging” between the two leaders in his Opinion: Trump’s hands too small to handle North Korea alone.
Well, “Tiny Hands” Trump and “Rocket Man” Kim Jong-un are back at it. It began last week when Trump delivered his speech at the United Nations saying Kim is on a “suicide mission for himself” (if he continues to build and test bombs) then called Kim a “madman” and later said the US would “totally destroy” North Korea if it moved against the US or its allies.
Kim Jong-un responded by calling President Trump a “mentally deranged US dotard.” A dotard, if you do not know, is slang for an elderly senile person. Then, over the weekend, President Trump threw gasoline on the fire with a tweet claiming that North Korea, “wouldn’t be around too much longer.”
The school yard insults are beneath world leaders and if the stakes weren't so high I would be a lot more snarky about grown ass men behaving this way. Finally, after a week of the two leaders tossing juvenile threats back and forth, North Korea’s Foreign Minister said:
"Last weekend Trump claimed that our leadership wouldn't be around much longer and declared a war on our country...” -- “Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make all self-defensive counter measures, including the right to shoot down the United States strategic bombers at any time even when they are not yet inside the aerospace border of our country."
Dick wagging or not, these are dangerous words for world leaders to casually sling back and forth. I wouldn’t precisely say that Trump, “declared war” on North Korea but, in all fairness, there was a significant implied threat.
And if there is one thing that dictators do not respond well too, it’s significant implied threats.
I don’t want a lunatic like Kim Jong-un to have weapons of mass destruction. He keeps threatening to bomb and or attack the US and its allies. Which is why, President Trump, rightfully said that Kim was on a “suicide mission.” Because what other result does Kim expect? If a world leader claims they are making weapons of mass destruction and then openly brags about targets that can be attacked in the US and / or in US allied countries -- then the US has to take that seriously. It doesn’t matter if it’s only “dick wagging” posturing.
I wish we in the US and the North Korean’s both had more cool headed, thick skinned adult leaders than we actually do. But we have what we have. And like all cripplingly insecure men, our two respective country leaders are tossing juvenile threats and wagging the dog. Perhaps Kim doesn’t really plan to attack the US. Perhaps he’s just talking shit in order to look tough. It seems to have gotten to that point where it no longer matters what his intentions are. The US has to take him for his word.
Perhaps Kim wants a war with the US. I don’t know and I don't claim to know what that lunatic thinks. So what can be done?
So far, US sanctions against North Korea have proven to be ineffective because 75% of its exports go to China. The Chinese government could stop this war posturing if they stepped up and imposed financial sanctions of their own. And that might be happening as sources around the interweb claim, Top Chinese bank vows to strictly apply UN sanctions on North Korea.
This appears to be a step in the right direction. Let’s hope it stays that way. But with two explosive hot heads leading both respective countries, one just never knows.