For the first time in history, a US president stepped on North Korean soil. Donald Trump managed to enter North Korea peacefully after more than half a century of confrontation resulting from the Cold War that split the Korean peninsula in two: the communist to the north and the capitalist to the south.
Peace between these two nations affects not only both sides, but much of the world, as they both have nuclear weapons which could cause harm to all of us, or at least North Korea believed so for years.
“Mutual assured destruction” refers to the impact of the use of nuclear weapons. The term emerged in the context of the Cold War when the US and the Soviet Union avoided confrontation because they knew it would be too destructive. Instead, they clashed through other nations. One of these nations was North Korea.
PanAm Post contacted César Sabas, Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toulouse, Capitole. He emphasizes the relevance of the term “Mutual Assured Destruction” to explain Trump’s strategy in his goal of bringing peace between the two nations.
What was Trump’s strategy, both to pressure Kim Jong and to reconcile and open dialogue?
We can understand the low risk posed by North Korea by comparing it to the nuclear capacities of other nations. France has about 350 nuclear warheads, while the Soviet Union had 10,000. North Korea has only six, and they are short-range weapons.
According to estimates, the most considerable distance North Korean nuclear weapons could reach is up to Hawaii and possibly the coasts of California. In other words, they could not impact the big cities of the US. Meanwhile, the US has enough weaponry to pulverize any nation.
Trump knows this and used it to dismiss the threats of Kim Jong-un, the heir of the North Korean dictator.
By announcing that his “button is the bigger one,” Trump put an end to decades of threats by North Korea as the Asian country asks for international help in exchange for not attacking.
Trump firmly makes it clear that a minor threat is not going to persuade him. He reiterated that the real danger is American military Arsenal. At the same time, Trump stressed that the US wasn’t seeking an armed confrontation but to reach an agreement.
Is Trump fulfilling his campaign promise that the US would not be the world’s police?
He has kept his campaign promise. The US has not been the world’s police under his government. It has made this clear in the NATO where it reduced the defense budget. Trump asserts that he seeks only and exclusively the welfare of the United States.
Besides, as a businessman, he knows that the cost of war is too high. Even if North Korea were a real threat, it would cost thousands of times more than intervening in Venezuela.
One of the criticisms of Trump was that he would initiate World War III. How close or how far are we from those assumptions?
Those who were complaining during the presidential campaign that Trump would initiate World War Three later lamented that he had abandoned world leadership and opted for isolationism.
It is a contradiction. Intervention causes war. These people wanted to create an echo of anti-Trump opinions.
Trump has had a very cautious policy toward Russia and Ukraine. Although he has been confrontational with China, he has never been warmongering. There is no sign of a fierce war; there is a trade war along with rhetoric.
I believe that Trump seeks to dot the i’s and cross the t’s to renegotiate many treaties in favor of the US. “I’m here to defend US interests,” he said in his first speech at the UN and urged the rest of the leaders to do the same. For international interests do not exist. Seeking them is what provokes great wars. Since international interests go against the national interest, they have a high cost. Meanwhile, Trump opts for negotiation.
Ideologists who go to war and people who chase utopias believe they know what is best for humanity. These are dangerous people.
What Trump has done is a far cry from that.