A North Korean defector told CNN this week that his former country is moving ahead with their nuclear weapons program. Thae Young-ho, once a prominent ambassador for the Kim regime, said that North Korea hoped to take advantage of the uncertainties in the West to expand their destructive arsenal.
“Due to domestic political procedures, North Korea calculates that South Korea and the U.S. will not be able to take physical or military actions to deter North Korea’s nuclear development,” Thae said.
He surmised that Kim Jong-un would see this as “an apt time” to grow his nuclear arsenal with minimal interference from Western nations who are grappling with their political futures.
“Following the ruling party congress in May, Kim Jong-un made it a party policy to finish nuclear development within the earliest time possible,” he said.
The mad dictator may realize sooner than later that President Trump isn’t going to stand by and watch him grow more powerful the way President Obama has done. While Obama continually takes small-scale action to make it look like the U.S. is doing something, the Kim regime has been allowed to put all of their focus into building a system of mass destruction that endangers everyone in the region. And if Thae is correct, his efforts may soon result in a military establishment that can launch missiles directly onto U.S. soil.
Something must be done, and it starts with China. Trump knows full well that North Korea can only continue to exist as a nation under international sanctions as long as they are protected from doom by their Chinese allies. China doesn’t want a free North Korea. Nor do they want to see Kim get so desperate that he starts making good on his violent threats. But this dance where we “keep the status quo” simply isn’t working anymore. We can’t wait until we see a mushroom cloud over Los Angeles before we take action.
Action doesn’t need to mean war. Donald Trump has made it clear what he thinks about interventionist wars that aim to overthrow dangerous dictators. They often have unpredictable consequences and lead to situations worse than what they were. He is smart enough to know that it is through China that we can keep Kim Jong-un in check.
Hopefully, that’s exactly what he’ll do. The time has run out on Obama’s “strategic patience.” Kim Jong-un has rattled the saber for long enough. It’s time to neuter him before his talk turns into something much more dangerous.