The Ongoing North Korea Crisis

In recent months, North Korea has been the center of the international stage.  War could break out at any time leaving the United States in a crisis situation. Crises in international affairs typically have “pre-existing conditions” such as religious, systemic, ethnic, structural, or even a combination. The “pre-existing conditions” between North Korea and the United States according to Robert L. Gallucci of The National Interest, are neither of these rather than North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

This is not the first time that the United States and North Korea have been involved in a nuclear crisis. In 1994, the U.S. stated that is was neither the North’s belligerent rhetoric, governmental system, provocations, or its artillery along the DMZ that caused their crisis with North Korea. Then secretary of State of Defense Bill Perry stated that “We’ve lived with all that for a very long while. What we need to do now is to stop their program to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons.”

With North Korea planning on uniting its ICBM’s with nuclear weapons, the U.S. would be vulnerable to attacks. While the U.S. has been developing a defense system against ballistic missiles, it is not going to be ready for use anytime soon. This would put the extended deterrence that the U.S. gives to its allies at risk leaving them less protected and threatened even more by North Korea. This will leave the United States choosing between putting an American city at risk, or protecting an ally.

Dianna Cardenas , World Affairs Council Intern
Photo Credit: The National Interest