North Korea has all of the trustworthiness of your average crazy person with a huge gun stash in their basement; and that is at the best of times.
In January 2016 when a seismic tremor registered on the Korean peninsula, The People’s Republic of North Korea spokespeople said that they were “testing an H-bomb in self-defense.” The self-defense that they referred to was the allegations that the United States Military supplied the South Koreans with powerful nuclear bombs. While many people chalked this up to run-of-the-mill North Korean paranoia, the US is now CERTAINLY looking at strategic options to help South Korea, after an H-bomb was detonated in a test close to where they live.
This debate is a sensitive one that has several factors; one of the biggest is simply that most experts think that the North Korean government is lying. The register on seismic data does not seem large enough to be a real H-bomb. This would not be totally out of character for a smaller nation that feels threatened by larger ones; however it would not likely be too prudent to attempt to call them out on that at this time.
China is also very angry, as they were not notified about this “test.” However, Kim Jong Un said to the press that “The DPRK’s H-bomb test … is a self-defensive step for reliably defending the peace on the Korean Peninsula and the regional security from the danger of nuclear war caused by the U.S.-led imperialists.”
Considering that the best way of peace and defense might be to NOT anger large industrial nations that are armed with nuclear weapons, this statement seems a bit odd. Also, the United States has not threaten the North Koreans; all of the “military” action in the Korean Peninsula has been to help people in South Korea stay safe from trigger-happy national leaders.
Jong Un’s statement that “no one can criticize” the actions of TPRNK for wanting to defend themselves stands in stark contrast to the wave of criticism that North Korea is ruining the stability of the region with every new mention of nuclear war. It is becoming harder and harder to see the actions of TPR as self-defense; defense is when you secure your own borders and protect your people. Defense is NOT any of the following:
– Using nuclear weapons on ANYONE
– Testing bombs/announcing loudly to the world that you have them
– Declaring yourself a nuclear power
None of these actions are a defense. All of these actions are the behavior of an aggressor. North Korea may have the right to build bombs if they want to, but that does not mean that other countries need to feel safe about it; nuclear war is something that no one wants to deal with.
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