Go to Hell, North Korea

Sean W. Cooper, Assistant Opinion Editor

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There are two countries that I am tired of hearing about in the news. One is Russia, whose interference in the 2016 elections we are still hearing about, nine months later. By the time we’ve finally heard the end of it, we can expect that Russia will have meddled in probably three or four more presidential elections.

I’m also sick of hearing about North Korea and for the very same reason: we’re reading the same news over and over a couple of times a week. Kim Jong-Un wants to destroy America and he’s building a nuclear arsenal and testing missiles so that he can try to do so.

Every week it seems they have plans to launch a few new test missiles. Last week they said they were targeting U.S. military bases in Guam, while this week it was our bases in South Korea.

If they’re so adamant about destroying us, I wonder, why are they choosing military bases, where only 3,381 military personnel are stationed? That may sound like a lot, but let’s consider that our own city of Wilmington (a relatively small city, mind you) is more than 30 times larger in population. Their current plans are akin to Al-Qaeda flying planes into a barn in the middle of rural Arkansas rather than the World Trade Center.

The answer to that question is rather easy though: Kim Jong-Un is a coward and on top of that, it’s very hard to take him seriously when everything from his goofy haircut to his childlike demeanor is worse than those which we find in our own president.

However, at the same time we shouldn’t write off North Korea entirely. We have to tread carefully because as of recently these threats are no longer completely empty. One thing is certain: they do now have nuclear weapons and they have the ability to use them.

They surely won’t use them on us, though, and if they do they will surely wish they hadn’t. North Korea is a third-world country that, as revealed in 2016 by the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act, has managed to build these nuclear weapons through a series of illegal arms trades and money-laundering schemes.

The United States, on the other hand, is a first-world country that spends more on its military than the next seven countries combined. That is to say, in 2014, our military budget was $610 billion; China’s, Russia’s, Saudi Arabia’s, France’s, the United Kingdom’s, India’s, and Germany’s added up to only $601 billion.

On top of that, our military budget is more than 50 times larger than North Korea’s. If they gave us a reason to focus our efforts on them, they certainly would not be around for much longer.

Now I would truly hate for it to get to that point. I consider myself a pacifist and therefore, I feel that war should be avoided except as an absolute last resort. On top of that, we exited the two most expensive wars in the history of the world only a few years ago, which have set us back by approximately $4.79 trillion.

On top of that, there’s a civil war in Syria arguably brought on by our own foreign policy. We are at odds with such nations as Russia and China, who support Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorial government while our nation, along with the United Kingdom and France, supports the rebels fighting it.

Simply put, we could be just moments away from a world war and not know it yet.  That being said, we certainly do not need an additional war just because Kim Jong-Un is a violent, whiny baby.