North Korea told the United Nations on Wednesday that their hydrogen bomb test was a rousing success, giving them weaponry “capable of wiping out the whole territory of the U.S. all at once.” The regime has characterized their pursuit of a nuclear arsenal as peaceful and defensive in nature, but their announcement brought near-universal condemnation, to say nothing of skepticism. Geological evidence casts doubts on North Korea’s claims.
“North Korea is still a long way off from being able to strike the U.S. mainland,” said expert Siegfried Hecker, echoing the sentiments of most in the international community.
Despite those widespread doubts, Kim Jong Un held a special ceremony to honor the scientists responsible for the January 6 test. There, he said the country’s goal was to build an arsenal “capable of making nuclear strikes at the U.S.-led imperialists at any time and in any space, if they encroach upon the sovereignty of North Korea and make threatening provocations.”
Or, you know, just for the hell of it.
The UN is said to be deliberating a new round of sanctions against the regime, but that’s a hollow threat when the evidence shows that current sanctions are not being enforced. Since the last round of sanctions were put in place, very few of the UN’s member states have complied with the regulations. The UN continues to report that North Korea is getting supplies for its nuclear and missile programs, despite no concurrent reports of member states confiscating supplies under prohibition. If the sanctions are meaningless, why bother? The UN, in its way, is just as fake as North Korea’s grand delusions.
Whether North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is as advanced as they want the world to believe or not, their latest saber-rattling should re-focus the presidential election on what’s important: America’s national security. There are a lot of empty promises made in an election year, most of them having to do with the economy. The amount of power a president has over the health or stagnation of the economy varies, but their power to address foreign threats does not. It is not only the most important job of the president, it is the most important job of the entire federal government.
It’s easy, in relatively peaceful times, to forget that all of our luxuries and all of our education and all of our technology is only possible because we have a strong military. That military, though, serves us best when it is directed by someone who recognizes a threat when he sees it. He doesn’t downplay it. He doesn’t ignore it. He assesses the situation and he takes the appropriate action. Above all, we need a president ready, willing, and able to take that action.