The World’s Real Nuclear Menace Isn’t North Korea

Photo by Toby Scott | CC BY 2.0

With growing speculation of war with North Korea and familiar apocalyptic rhetoric in recent times, the United States and North Korea have participated in increasingly bellicose exchanges. These recent exchanges range from President Trump calling on other nations to stop financing and trading with North Korea because it’s a “very serious nuclear menace,” redesignating North Korea as an official state sponsor of terrorism, to more North Korean nuclear missile tests and American and South Korean joint war games.

In light of the nuclear brinkmanship with North Korea bringing frequent comparisons to the Cuban Missile Crisis and discussion of hypothetical worst-case scenarios, it’s worth reviewing the United States’ record and examining whether North Korea is really the belligerent nuclear menace the world needs to liberate itself from. As critics of American foreign policy have noticed, the United States’ leaders, its media and its citizens never quite seem to recognize the full consequences of their country’s actions in other regions, or investigate its long history of conflict with North Korea.

To begin in chronological order, touring around the globe, it’s been noted by international relations scholars and historians that the Korean War is partly known as “The Forgotten War” because Americans have largely forgotten “the utter ruin and devastation” the United States inflicted upon North Korea. It’s not widely known…

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