Arms race in Asia

WHAT IT IS

WHY IT MATTERS

This is an especially uneasy situation for Japan and South Korea. It is unknown how powerful or how far North Korea’s nuclear weapons can travel, but Japan and South Korea depend upon the U.S. to deter any attacks. If either country decides to strike, this would start a full-fledged international conflict.

  • PRO ARMS – “Fight fire with fire”

    • Provocation:   North Korea has consistently provoked the U.S., Japan and South Korea and would only truly stop the provocations with military action.
    • Self interest:   Japan and South Korea need to increase their own defense strategies due to unreliability of President Trump and his desire to renegotiate trade terms.
    • Hit first:   A preemptive strike on North Korea’s nuclear capabilities would be a decisive and efficient way to prevent any ability that they could “hit back”
  • ANTI-ARMS – “Diplomacy is always better”

    • Economic sanctions:   The United Nations Security Council and the U.S. Congress recently imposed the toughest economic sanctions yet on North Korea, so using military force this soon would be premature.
    • Restraint is the norm:   North Korea has a long history of restraint. This is not be the first time that the U.S. was on the “brink of war” with North Korea.
    • Dialogue:   South Korea and Japan have been in the firing range of North Korea for quite some time, and still believe dialogue between each country is the most prudent.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • President Trump threatened to unleash “fire and fury” upon North Korea if they continue their rhetoric.
  • North Korea responded that if the U.S. attacked, they would strike American military forces in Guam.
  • U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis issued an ultimatum to North Korea stating to “cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and destruction of its people”

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Is this the closest the world has come to WWIII to since the Cold War?
  • Click for a timeline of North Korean/U.S. relations over the years.
  • How do you believe President Trump will respond to North Korean nuclear threats?
  • Can THAAD protect us against North Korea?