By Ryan Stephens
In light of the recent death of famed critic Roger Ebert, the United States mourned the man that provided insight into the films that we enjoy. Insight that very few came close to possessing and with his loss marks a deep wound in film criticism.
While one critic may fall, the strongest critic of South Korea and the United States continued relentless pestering over the last few weeks. North Korea began bellicose threats last week, making vague threats about how diplomats in the country should scram and loading up missiles onto mobile carriers. Of course, this drives concern for many Americans. However, despite the almost certain destruction expected by some, any sort of worry should disappear after learning about the details of North Korea. These details include that the United States cannot be hit by any piece of the vast North Korean arsenal, the current threats will end up evaporate, and North Korea cannot afford an attack. The panic that some feel should never actually occur because of how unlikely such an attack is.
So for North Korea to follow through with their words, they must actually have the ability to strike. All the threats in the world mean nothing if the threats will never materialize. North Korea’s bark holds no bite; all of the weapons North Korea have could not hit the lower 48 states. Even then, chances of hitting Alaska or Hawaii land somewhere close to nil. North Korea’s ability to hit the United States exists only in the dreams of the leaders of North Korea and in the creations of their relentless propaganda ministries. However, current concern ends up in the wrong place. Concern of an attack on the United States should not exist but an attack on an ally must take precedence. South Korea and Japan have the most frightening position of all involved and the most on the line. A successful attack from North Korea could easily hit the densely populated cities of Seoul and Tokyo, resulting in the death of millions, not to mention the other highly populated areas of these countries also risk attack. Even in a best case scenario, the attack will have massive consequences. Hopefully, American, Japanese, and South Korean anti-missile capabilities prevent any sort of missile launch, whether North Korea intends aggression by it or not.
Now, fear of an attacked ally still makes the potential for a nuclear war a frightening possibility. The success of a nuclear strike from North Korea could incite the end of civilization and the human race. Of course, for North Korea to take this action, they must have something to gain. However, any sort of destruction brought on by North Korea will have dire consequences for North Korea, no matter what. As Sir Isaac Newton once said, for every action there must be an opposite reaction. Apply this law of physics to the North Korean situation and it becomes apparent that North Korea’s testing of firepower will be met with an equal amount of firepower sans the anti-west angst that North Korea preaches about every week.
So what would North Korea have to gain? The United States would almost certainly try to usurp the Kim dynasty first chance it got and make sure that the military could not seize power, especially considering that North Korea practically defines a military state. And the United States would not be the only country on board, South Korea, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, and even China would do everything in their power to prevent such tension the region again. Obviously there does exist some differences in motive but at the end of the day, the preservation of North Korean power would disappear and end up in the hands of either China or the West, both which would go against every single goal the Kim dynasty and its military elite have. Some will argue that North Korea lacks the rationale to even understand their consequences, like some child that does not understand when their parent says now. However, North Korea does see the bigger game being played over their head. They openly accept aid, food, and other goods all while preserving the image of a very hatred filled country that will do anything to fight the evil United States and unify the Korean peninsula through utter destruction of the South. Ultimately, starting a war will result in the destruction of everything dear to North Korea.
Now, North Korea still may disregard all notions of common sense and go ahead with the assault. The only evidence for this though exists in the presence of nuclear missiles and an increase in military personnel which would shock anyone who does not know about North Korea’s military power. Though those with that knowledge already know North Korea absolutely loves to flex its military might and these events appear to follow in their footsteps. North Korea seems to do nothing but spew rhetoric left and right. Every bit of talk they have thrown out comes with no action with it. Based on previous information, North Korea has all the reason in the world to not attack. History likes to repeat itself and with the North Korean dilemma, history will. No action will be taken today, tomorrow, or anytime soon unless North Korea wants to end up being an accurate representation of the moon.
Ultimately, all the panic and fear from a possible North Korean strike should not even exist because such an attack is unlikely. North Korea’s ability to hit the United States does not exist, the consequences of an attack should be a deterrent for North Korea, and history will repeat itself with North Korea. This saber rattling will lead North Korea to the same place it existed before, the condition of a broken down communist relic from the Cold War with a dying, oppressed population ruled by a Chinese dynasty of extreme egos. Maybe some hope manifests itself and the North Korean people get the aid they desperately need but in the meantime, no sort of joy or hope should come from North Korea.