Should the U.S. use military force in North Korea? | The Tylt
North Korea escalated international tensions last month by launching its second long-range intercontinental ballistic missile. President Trump matched the saber-rattling by promising "fire and fury" in response to any future threats from Kim Jong Un's regime. Some hawks say we must use military force before Pyongyang is able to launch a nuclear strike. Others argue for diplomacy, saying military intervention could create a humanitarian disaster and lead to a devastating war. What do you think?
Should the U.S. use military force in North Korea?
President Trump responded to a recent spate of missile tests and threats from North Korea by promising Kim Jong Un "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." It's a considerable uptick in a threatening rhetoric from the United States and a departure from the typical response to North Korea's nuclear tactics.
North Korea responded to Trump's bombastic rhetoric by threatening to launch a preemptive strike on Guam, escalating tensions throughout Asia. Over 160,000 people live in the U.S. territory of Guam, which is home to over 6,000 American troops and Andersen Air Force Base—a key, strategic base for military operations in the Pacific.
Any military attack would likely "trigger one of the worst mass killings in human history." Around 25,000,000 South Koreans live within artillery range of North Korea. As a deterrence to an invasion, North Korea has thousands of artillery guns pointed at civilian targets, ready to rain destruction at a moment's notice.
It's estimated around 64,000 people will die on the first day of the bombardment.
No viable North Korea military solutions that don't risk massive conventional civilian casualties in Seoul. Push China and sanctions hard— ♻️ Christopher Zullo (@ChrisJZullo) July 28, 2017
Given the situation in North Korea, Trump's nuke lust, and talks of preemptive strikes, this is the time for cooler heads to get assertive.— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) July 28, 2017
But hard-liners are pushing for military force because they say there is simply no other good option. Once North Korea has the ability to strike the U.S. mainland, the calculus of any intervention or diplomatic effort completely changes. Right now, North Korea poses a direct threat to the region. Soon, North Korea will pose a direct threat to the United States. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said:
"One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction," Haley said. She urged China, North Korea's only major ally, to do more to rein in Pyongyang.