By Aidan Dion
North Korea has again made a public statement to posture its nuclear power. This time in a letter, the hermit kingdom responded to sanctions, President Trump’s rhetoric, and its resolve to maintain arms. The letter was received by Australia’s parliament, but was addressed to “Parliaments of Different Countries”. Contrary to the intended goal of the letter, world leaders are still no more aware of the situation than before they received the letter.
In recent months, the DPRK has attempted to increase its status as a nuclear power with the capability to launch attacks against the continental United States and its territories. This, along with blatant human rights abuses described by Reuters, has led to severe sanctions against the already isolated country. These rounds of sanctions have affected the country more so than usual, as this round has focused on financiers who illegally send money into the country. With most of its outside support coming from China, who is trying to distance its self from the Kim regime, North Korea is running out of options. The mix of sanctions, development of assumed hydrogenbombs and long range missiles, according to CNN, leads to the increase in threats leaving the country. Guam, Japan, and Australia have all raised threat levels and have been put on high alert.
This most recent letter adds very little new information in ways of threats. CNN has reported that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop noted that use of a letter is itself an indicator of fears in the DPRK. North Korea usually communicates with the outside world in other ways. By the country writing the letter, Australian officials believe they are showing that they are feeling the pressure from an allied military and sanctions.
The contents of the letter essentially ranted on the actions of President Trump. After DPRK officials threatened to destroy the United States, President Trump reiterated at the UN that United States has patience for peace, but has the ability to destroy North Korea, should war breakout. This comment has appeared to be a motivator in the recent actions of North Korea. Rather than appear weak, the DPRK feels as though it must return the rhetoric. Another source from CNN says that the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull has called the letter “basically a rant about how bad Donald Trump is”. He wanted to clarify that it was North Korea that was threatening the safety of the world, not Trump.
The DPRK’s foreign ministry threatened Australia, claiming that supporting the US would be suicidal. Although many countries place the actual probability of a North Korean attack as low risk, it is agreed that the regime will either double down and refine its military capability, or give up its arms. For now, it is unclear on the direction North Korea will continue down.