Trump’s belligerent stand is far from the best way to deal with North Korea

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 October, 2017, 9:02am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 October, 2017, 10:48pm

In recent weeks, the verbal combat between North Korea and the United States has reached a critical point.

In light of the circumstances that led to this verbal confrontation between the leaders of two sovereign states, and judging who is right and who is wrong, it is important to take a look at some historical and other factors behind the issue.

The division of Korea into North and South along the 38th parallel is the result of the Korean war (1950-1953), which ended as a result of an armistice signed on July 27, 1953, by China and North Korea on one side and the US on behalf of the international community on the other.

The US got involved in this war between the armies of the two Koreas with the sole objective of preventing communist influence spreading in the region, as the Soviet Union was backing the North Korean regime.

The country which otherwise would have been a united Korea became a divided nation, with the south under the influence and control of the US and the north under Soviet influence and control. They could have been united, if it had not been for the interference by the US.

Looking at recent events, it is a fact that North Korea has made tremendous technological advances in developing military hardware, without any apparent help from the developed world. It is understandably proud of its achievements and probably wants the developed world, in particular the US, to give it appropriate recognition. Instead, what it receives is criticism and condemnation. A problem that could have been nipped in the bud has escalated to the present critical state due to the lack of any initiative for dialogue.

The US holds the biggest arsenal in the world and is also probably the world’s most powerful country. North Korea is insignificant by comparison.

It is also unlikely that North Korea will attack the US, as its leaders must be well aware of the likely consequences. Under these circumstances, the statement that President Donald Trump made in his inaugural address to the United Nations is like a lion roaring at a cat. A better and more magnanimous option would have been to start a dialogue, like a big brother talking to a somewhat naughty younger sibling.

Victory for humankind cannot be achieved by completely destroying a sovereign country.

A. W. Jayawardena, Kennedy Town