Trump is known for his uncouth tongue. When he is not calling out “Crooked Hilary”, he is haranguing his “beleaguered Attorney General” Jeff Sessions. Most of the time it is aimed at shutting down “Fake News”. However, people were surprised when early August, he turned his venomous tongue to a rather befitting adversary, the warmongering president of North Korea, Kim Jong Un.
Speaking at a press conference he said, “Pyongyang had best not make any more threats to the US, or they will be met with fire and fury and frankly, power the like of which the world has never seen before.”
The utterance came as surprising because, though both countries have never been on the best terms, previous US presidents have maintained a “speak low, act tough” attitude. Trumps statement changed the norm by appearing to “speak tough, act tough”. It brought mixed feelings from both sides of the US congress, including other world leaders.
While some people heralded it as a good move because according to them, “That is the only language the North Korean president understands,” others frowned at it because it seemed to provoke an already tense situation in the Korean peninsula.
But was it the right thing for Trump to do? An expert in International relations explains how it, in fact benefits North Korea.
Why it is a good thing for North Korea
For over 20 years, North Korea has been developing its Nuclear arsenal and it seems the country’s Commander in Chief is spoiling to test it. The current situation which has been a series of missile tests in the ocean, and UN sanctions have done little to deter the war lord from conducting more test launches.
According to experts. Kim Jong Un is a bored megalomaniac and the only way to instil respect among his army ranks and country people is by speaking tough and rousing the West. It is like a risky game of “poke the sleeping dog”. It only gets interesting when the dog is charged.
North Korea, even with its nuclear arsenal is a relatively small country and cannot defeat America on its own in a war. Kim Jong knows this but continues to “poke the dog” in an outlandish display of “bravery” and power to reaffirm his country’s relevance and give citizens a reason to respect him.
By responding angrily, Trump only fulfilled what Kim Jong was hoping to achieve. The objective is achieved when the ‘dog’ reacts. Of course, Kim Jong had no plans to attack Guam as he later called off the plan with the message; “We will continue to watch the reckless Yankees before deciding on Guam attack.” But the wily leader had achieved his intention to provoke the US and assert his country’s relevance.
This war of words will continue to play as it always has. The question is “Will Trump be that president who lets rip and tips this cat and mouse game into fully escalated levels?” Only time will tell.
As a concerned diplomat once put it, “North Korea is World War 3 waiting to happen.”