North Korea’s detonation of its sixth powerful nuclear bomb on Sunday, September 3rd, 2017, aroused the Trump administration to warn that such threat with the use of weapons “will be met with a massive military response.” This device, however, was a hydrogen bomb that was prone to be attached to a missile competent of reaching the mainland United States. Despite president Kim Jong Un and his regime’s exaggeration of its feats, scientific evidence distinctly demonstrated the severity of the explosion. Vastly more powerful than any prior bombs the North had set before, the blast caused tremors that were felt in neighboring countries, South Korea and China. Tensions had already been running exceedingly high, with President Kim defying blunt forewarnings by Trump, and continuing to launch ballistic missiles. Yet this recent bomb may escalate the tension to a new level.
After meetings in the Situation Room, a conference room in the White House, involving President Trump’s phone calls between the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Trump’s advisors conceded that they faced the conundrum by demanding to cut off North Korea’s energy sources and suggesting that more serious steps must be taken to impact Kim’s authority. What’s more, Trump hinted at one extreme option on Twitter in considering to stop all trade with any country in business with North Korea.
Contrastly, the North Korean leader resisted that the program was inexorable. Washington and Seoul argued over the threat of military forces as Trump continued to admonish South Korea and suggested to withdraw trade deals with South Korea as well. Similarly, China also expressed strong annoyance at North Korea’s frequent launches. As its primary concern, China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner, persisted to state the importance of the stability of its borders.
North Korea’s countless efforts to develop a missile capable of hitting the US mainland have definitely accelerated during the Trump’s first year of presidency as it presided over a series of successful missile tests, including its first launch of ICBM on 4 July. The device, however, that was subsequently tested this month was plausible as it triggered a magnitude 6.3 earthquake, which was significantly greater than that of prior attempts such as the atomic bombs during the second world war. Because North Korea has bet its future on the ability to threaten the world with nuclear weapons, active containment could be an effective step in thwarting President Kim’s perilous ambitions to risk an unimaginable nuclear war.
– Jennie Yeom (’20)
Featured Image: Crescentia Jung (’19)