United States vs. North Korea: who will win???

The current confrontation between United States and North Korea has been seen such a high tensional that it reminds us the devastating consequences of World War. Not only for Korean peninsula bur also a deep concern for world community because may it start another massacre in history. So, what’s the background actually and who will win? Is it the display of power actually?


The background of United States vs. North Korea and the perspective:

United States of America is the state have a high profile in economy and military reserve.  Basically the country came to the scenario after Second World War. Its geographical location, geopolitical context, political stability, economic advancement offered it world leadership. The rapid flow of globalization and economic openness added more chances to it. Industrial revolution and abstaining from First World War facilitated it position of being world super power. After Word War Second the ideological game between United States and Soviet Union caused proxy war around the world. The devastating Korean War is one of these. Korea had been Japanese empire until Japan defeated in World War Second. After World War Second the Korean peninsula divided into two parts: Soviet backed North Korea and United States backed South Korea in 38th parallel. Basically the two Korea was differentiated of adverse ideology, Communism and Capitalism. The North Korean leader Kim Ill Sung was communist dictator while Syngman Rhee was devoted to capitalist based US ideology.

United States vs. North Korea
North Korean Nuclear sites.
Courtesy by AFP

The tension between United States and North Korea heightened gradually after cold war when North Korea suspected proliferating nuclear weapon. Further, the country blocked international inspectors in 1994. The situation ups and down several times. The former US president George W Bush includes the country into “devil’s axis”. In 2007, the Six Party Talks established to normalize tension but tension deteriorated again when North Korea tested nuclear arsenal again.

Basically North Korea is an authoritarian country with very much concentrated to armed influence than economy. Comparing to United States economy, the GDP is trillion dollars when North Korea is limited in billion dollars only. And its growth rate is sometimes negative. North Korea is highly conservative to publish its economic data. It has faced dearth and UN sanctions several times. Its main revenuers are chemical industry, mining, food processing etc. On the other hand, its neighboring counterpart South Korea is well settled economy.


The utmost unpredictable persons:

After victory of Donald Trump in United State’s parliament the international political researchers were feared of tension between United States and North Korea. And the tension grows at the peak when North Korea exposed it hydrogen bomb test. The situation goes to belligerency when Donald Trump declared to tear up “strategic patience” practiced by Barak Obama and control North Korea unilaterally. Meanwhile, China appears to mediate the tension but it also became frustrated when South Korea posited Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). And China can realize that North Korea’s aggressive activities troubles it economic advancement and it has to face “extra headache”. But Kim Jong Un is such a realist that He doesn’t care for any one.


What are the US interests to interfere in this area?

Why United States is so pragmatic in this region especially to North Korea? To answer the question you have to have a look to US trade route and geopolitical contexts. United States have to maintain safe trade route through South China Sea. 80% of its trade happens through the route. It’s the arm supply route to Middle East and route of petroleum import. United States has also more than 100% military bases on the area. So, United State’s involvement with North Korea’s counter affairs is not irrational phenomena. Moreover, Japan and South Korea are allied with United States; North Korea is closed to Russia and China. So, it is well known that “friend’s enemy is also the enemy”.

Who will win actually?

It is not certain that whether the countries will go war or not. And which country will start war is also ambiguous. But it certainly could start another World War. Both of the two countries have destructive warfare. Both of the two countries have nuclear, chemical weapons.  To compare its quantity will not be fruitful because quality is matter here. Size, strategic partnership, geopolitical scope, military strength is the variables here. In these circumstances, both countries have advantage and disadvantage. North Korea has military and strategic partnership with China and Russia. United States is also bound with military and economic partnership with South Korea and Japan. United States has more than 73,000 personnel deployed in Japan and South Korea. So, it could only kill millions of innocent people.


New president in South Korea: hope for peace

The new elect president of South Korea Moon Jae-in has left hope for peace in Korean peninsula. His liberal approach to the long rival neighbor North Korea is optimistic though Washington’s position is seems to observing strategy to the region. Moon Jae-in has already said to visit North Korea if “situation” creates. Beijing and Tokyo congrats Moon Jae-in but the language is very diplomatic. “Sanctions against North Korea are also a means to bring the North to the negotiating table aimed at eliminating its nuclear weapons,” the spokesman of the South Korean president told yesterday. A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said Washington had worked closely with Seoul on North Korea and would continue to do so.


The conclusion

After Brexit and US election, international communities were feared of aggressive nationalism and populism. But French election and South Korea election has appeared as new hope for peace and global integration with an optimistic means. It’s apparent that war won’t anything but devastation. Every year the world remembers the day of Hiroshima and Nagasaki tragedy. But negotiation, conciliation is the way to gain real victory for each party. Parties should try to include mechanism every way best. Thus, United States vs. North Korea will be a great example for victory.

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Sharif Mustajib

student, International Relations

University of Chittagong.

[email protected]

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