Unlike Syria, North Korea is a legitimate national security threat to the United States and our men and women in uniform stationed in South Korea. Moreover, the question remains: should the United States take the chance that North Korea has long range ballistic missiles capable of hitting the western coast of the United States?
Korea’s historic landscape has its roots in the Cold War as a proxy divided between the former Soviet Union occupying the North while the United States controlled the South. It is clear global governance has failed in maintaining peace and preventing North Korea from pursuing nuclear weapons.
Agencies like the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have done nothing to slow down the progression of a nuclear regime in Pyongyang. Democracy promotion, and international sanctions have shown no effect in slowing down the reckless testing North Korea has implemented over the years in further enriching its nuclear capabilities.
In an appeal to pragmatism and realism, the United States should have a clear definitive path to victory. Military intervention in the use of hard power should be a last resort. Make no mistake, a preemptive strike would ignite a nuclear disaster. Unfortunately, the public is not privileged on the actual nuclear capacity Kim Jong-Un possesses. In addition, President Trump needs authorization for any military action against North Korea if he is indeed entertaining the neoconservative urge for a preemptive strike. A meeting with Congress is not suffice.
Nonetheless, the decision to move the U.S.S. Vinson and Navy ships into the Korean Peninsula was the right move in demonstrating an aggressive containment of Kim Jong-Un. Trump’s diplomacy with China demonstrated marginal success in bringing a halt to coal imports from North Korea. However, if China were to further restrict oil to North Korea; Trump could achieve his first significant foreign policy success. If China eventually suspends all oil to Pyongyang; Washington will gain considerable leverage in forcing Kim Jong-Un to do what the United Nations and international shaming has failed to accomplish: a path to denuclearization.