Mark Caserta: Threats from North Korea merit US concern

25 Mar


Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

Mar 24, 2017


The Kim family has ruled North Korea for more than 60 years, and it’s no secret the totalitarian regime has an appetite for attention.

But recently, the rogue leader of the country, Kim Jong-un, delivered an ominous threat directed at the United States, which caught the attention of the world.

Last week, the U.S. and South Koreans began a massive, joint annual exercise off the Korean peninsula known as the Ulchi Freedom Guardian Drills. North Korea apparently has always complained about these drills, which Fox News reports as “largely computer-simulated war games,” involving 25,000 U.S. troops and 50,000 South Koreans.

But this time, as reported by multiple news outlets, including CNN, a spokesman for North Korea’s military was quoted as saying on behalf of the country’s state media that North Korea will “turn the stronghold of provocation into a heap of ashes through Korean-style pre-emptive nuclear strike” if the U.S. and South Korea “show the slightest sign of aggression” during the drill.

Just another glitzy attempt to fan their peacock train for the world to extol? Perhaps.

But it’s wise to weigh the varying circumstances under which this threat was made.

We know that both North Korea and Iran have economic and military ties with Russia and China.

China is technically committed to the defense of North Korea under the 1961 Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty. China is also economically dependent upon North Korea and comprises roughly three-quarters of the nation’s imports and exports.

Russia’s ties with Iran represent a similar dilemma for the U.S.

In November 2016, The Jerusalem Post reported a Russian-Iranian arms deal worth about $10 billion that would see Moscow “deliver T-90 tanks, artillery systems, planes and helicopters to Iran,” per a senior Russian senator.

And Russia has already built a nuclear reactor for Iran in the province of Bushehr and reportedly has signed a contract to build eight more.

Bridging the entities could be a deal, also reported by the Post, signed to “enhance cooperation between the nations of Iran and China,” both economically and militarily.

Where is the delineation of allegiance to be drawn between these four nations when dealing with the U.S.? Is it possible these countries share a dislike for the U.S. and barter military information and arms to achieve multiple benefits of economic expansion and military duplicity?

Could China or Russia benefit from a proxy attack on the United States by North Korea or Iran?

I understand sensible minds are cognizant of the no-win scenario here. But a nation’s interpretation of “winning” could be the variable.

Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t so aware of the terrible mess the world is in. But it’s bigger than me. It’s about my brother.

So, how should we deal with this information?

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