by: Alex Durham
Recently President Trump has been speaking very openly about North Korea’s threats of using nuclear force. On Tuesday he threatened to unleash “fire and fury” on Korea, then on Thursday, after receiving lots publicity about his word choice, said, “maybe it wasn’t tough enough.” Now I’m no expert and couldn’t tell you what “fire and fury” is, but the sort of schoolboy language Trump is using to describe a very serious situation that could end in nuclear warfare is truly frightening.
When I say frightening, I mean that the president is someone the nation should look to as their leader in these situations, not as an obstacle that is a hindrance in solving the problem. President Trump can say that he is ready to unleash fire and fury on North Korea all he wants, but what does that accomplish? What proactive and beneficial steps has he taken to smoothing out the situation other than taking to Twitter to escalate the banter with North Korea?
The answer: not very much, other than taking more jabs at Korea. In response to President Trump’s fire and fury threat, North Korea responded with a threat of their own, saying that they would launch a missile strike towards the U.S. territory of Guam. Trump’s response to this sounded a bit like a dare, saying “If he does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before, what will happen in North Korea.” Yet again, Trump chooses a child’s response over a coherent statement, casting doubt on his ability to be diplomatic in tense situations.
Now don’t believe the public has been silent throughout Trump’s Twitter tirade. There has been much political backlash on how Trump has handled the situation, a majority of it coming from the Democratic party. On August 10, over 60 house democrats drafted a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressing concern towards Trump’s aggressive rhetoric with Korea and asking Tillerson to restrain the president. While this may be viewed as a classic “Democrat trying to make Trump look bad” moment, I think that their fears go beyond their political affiliation and are very well founded. The president making threats towards a nation that is known to have a nuclear arsenal and is even threatening to use it should instill fear in everybody around the nation, and because the main reason they have threatened us in the first place is Trump’s jabs, I believe the Democrats are only keeping the interest of the people in mind when asking that Trump be restrained.
But no matter what Trump has or has not done, there has been a threat made against 162,000 people. To not act upon that and attempt to provide support to Guam would prove him not only to be an ineffective leader, but to be an immoral human being. Trump has contacted the leader of Guam and said, “we are with you 1,000 percent,” but then made the statement, “All over the world, they’re talking about Guam, and they’re talking about you, and I think — tourism, I can say this, your tourism, you’re going to go up like tenfold with the expenditure of no money, so I congratulate you…” Guam has been threatened with a missile attack, and the president is congratulating them on an expected increase of tourism. It seems as if he is almost taking the situation as a joke, while he is the main perpetrator for the threat.
What North Korea is going to do is uncertain to everybody, but their cards are on the table. The question that now begs to be answered is how President Trump will handle the situation from this point on. Will he continue his mocking rhetoric, or will he put his ego aside and reason with North Korea? We can only hope the latter, but only time will tell.