North Korea has once again launched missiles. Although the two nuclear tests conducted last year were threatening enough, North Korea has conducted missile launching tests over 15 times in the past year alone. The reduction in failures has also been indicative of the country’s increasing military technological strength. The “good and bad”of the Obama administration that brought about this North Korean tyranny has had a huge effect.
President Trump immediately declared in a joint press conference with the Japanese Prime Minister that “I just want everybody to understand, and fully know, that the United States of America is behind Japan, our great ally, 100 percent” in his resolve to deal with North Korea. In a press conference the previous day, he had already stated that defense against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats was a “very, very high priority.”
They key to opposing the North Korean threat lies in cooperation with our Asian allies, including Taiwan, the Philippines, and Singapore. From a substantial involvement standpoint, the US military bases situated in several Asian countries are vital. In other words, the bases in South Korea and Japan. There are land, air, and sea forces stationed in these countries that number over 30,000 soldiers apiece.
South Korea has decided to deploy THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missiles.) While many countries criticize China actions in the South China Sea, South Korea, which is allied with the USA, remained silent on the matter, and although there was disapproval towards the deployment of THAAD, they still decided on its deployment. The reason that it took so long to decide on the deployment of THAAD was seemingly in consideration for China who were opposed to it.
Anxiety over the provocation of China was proven justified. After deciding on the deployment of THAAD, China retaliated against South Korea. There was a wide range of retaliatory actions implemented including guidelines for “avoiding travel to South Korea” published by travel companies, an intensification of protectionist trade, deportation of South Korean missionaries, and cancelled events of South Korean entertainers.
Furthermore, China has not displayed a cooperative attitude in regards to Japan, which is the most crucial country when it comes to countermeasures against North Korea. China tends to make a lot of noise and accuse Japan of being a “cruel military nation,” drawing comparisons to issues stemming from wars such as World War 2, which the USA tends to stay out of. However, Japan is no longer a nation with a military, has already punished its war criminals, and the government has already made countless public apologies. China should stop blaming Japan for past issues such as the Rape of Nanking and the Second World War, just as it should stop its “bullying” of South Korea.
The reason that China was so opposed to the deployment of THAAD was because of the performance of the THAAD radars. Although the USA and South Korea have stipulated that the deployment of THAAD is “only in response to the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear tests and ballistic missiles”, there is the potential to switch the radar to a wider area mode, which would allow the USA to expand its missile defense area, and the radar could possibly notify the USA very quickly if China was to launch any missiles.
Although one of the causes for North Korea’s rampage lies with the Obama administration, another large factor is that time and again China has failed to play the part expected of her. China, which forms part of the problem, should not have opposed the deployment of THAAD and should have introduced retaliatory actions against South Korea. Could China actually approve of North Korea’s nuclear development and missile tests?
North Korea are not just a threat to security. They also have serious human rights issues. The UN has expressed very serious fears about human trafficking, torture, public executions, forced abortion, and the kidnapping of foreign nationals and have formally adopted the “Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” Could a China that opposes the deployment of THAAD in the face of such a country actually be the same? China itself suppresses the human rights of people from Tibet, the Uygur, and people from Turkestan. Therefore, they may not want to take such a strong stance against North Korea.
This is no time to be quarreling with neighboring countries. Now is the time for China to be cooperating with the USA, South Korea, and Japan.