US President Donald Trump made his first speech at the United Nations (UN) on 19 September, 2017. It was quite a fiery speech that a few have praised and many have criticised. “If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few then evil will triumph”, he said, while talking about countries like North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela, amongst others.
“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” President Trump said, while referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as ‘Rocket Man’. Kim Jong-un has been ramping up the North Korean nuclear missile program, in defiance of the United Nations requests to halt nuclear testing. This statement by President Trump signalled his strategy of putting America first, and of acting in a way that he wants, regardless of how the rest of the world feels. It strongly states that the US is definitely prepared to go to war with and “totally destroy” North Korea.
The United Nations Security Council has imposed ‘sanctions’ on North Korea. Sanctions are basically forms of punishment, where the UN says that other countries in this International group will not buy stuff that North Korea is manufacturing – like textiles for example. This means that North Korea will not be able to sell these items and earn enough money. They hope that this will be a deterrent to North Korea, but it doesn’t look like it is affecting Kim Jong-un’s plans much so far!
So if North Korea is doing something wrong, why is Trump being criticised for his words?
We can think of a few reasons why it is better for the whole world if some more peaceful tactics are tried before bombing North Korea:
- Kim Jong-un has shown himself to be rather full of himself and is unlikely to buckle under Trump’s threat. So what’s the point of the threat?
- Trump has a lot of nuclear weapons to use – the US and Russia have the largest nuclear weapons collection in the world. Is Trump actually prepared for America to use these again? Or is he being a bully with his words?
- If bombing Japan during World War II has taught America anything, it should know that the effects of using weapons and nuclear weapons are far reaching and cover many years. Innumerable innocent lives will be lost if he does this. Totally destroying a country and all its people sounds rather drastic!
- North Korea is a very secretive nation. It is not known how many hidden weapons and bombs they have. It will be difficult and dangerous for allied armies to fight there. Trump will be putting a lot of lives at risk.