North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Continues Antagonistic Actions


For the past two months, North Korea has been a champion when it comes to making headlines. Whether it’s setting off hydrogen bombs or launching outdated missiles into space, Kim Jong Un is doing his best to make North Korea a threat to their neighbors. This week proved to be no different, since North Korea threatened to launch a full scale pre-emptive nuclear assault on both the United States and South Korea.

While the North Korean military isn’t planning to drop an atom bomb on anyone at this time, the Kim regime seems eager to cause some kind of disturbance with Western forces stationed near Korea. Honestly, this rise in tension has almost become routine at this point. If the intense military exercises by American and South Korean forces don’t seem like a prologue to some kind of conflict in the Korean region, then nothing else will.

New sanctions, on top of the old ones, have been placed on North Korea by members of the United Nations, and it seems that South Korea is the one pushing hardest to “punish” North Korea, since South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been pushing for measures to “speed-up regime collapse.” What’s interesting is that South Korea has been passive with their northern neighbors and tried to deal with problems in a peaceful fashion, but now Seoul is really pushing hard to put the Kim regime into the dirt.

Their stance is highly reasonable, since not only is the northern government being antagonistic (as usual), but they have also claimed to have successfully miniaturized a nuclear device to the point of being able to fit on top of a warhead. Granted, this claim could just be a flat-out lie, but it does seem plausible due to their advance in technology and photos released by North Korean media.

Even the Chinese are sick of North Korea’s brash actions, which is strange since the two nations have been on good terms, even if the relationship is one of convenience. The Chinese have joined in on the UN’s sanctions and have restricted trade with North Korea, such as putting certain cargo ships on a “blacklist.”

Granted, North Korea is getting by just fine by evading these tactics. Bruce Bechtol, the author of North Korea and Regional Security in the Kim Jong-un Era, states in an email that Kim Jong Un’s officials will employ a variety of third party individuals, often-changing and shady front companies and complicit banks to conduct their transactions that occur outside the international system. Clearly, the status quo of North Korean society hasn’t changed since the Kim regime can find ways around the sanctions, so North Korea isn’t really any worse off than they were previously.

With all the sanctions, embargos, military planning, and training, it’s a wonder how a conflict hasn’t started yet. With each passing month, the possibility of a new war in Korea seems more and more likely. Since North Korea has gotten their hands on a more advanced type of nuclear bomb (at least advanced by their standards) and always seems to dodge every type of sanction placed against them, it doesn’t seem like they’ll back down for a while. Hopefully a new Korean War won’t come from this, but it seems to be heading down that path.