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Imagine this, you are outside, you look up but there is no sky, you look around but there are no buildings or trees or even grass. You are in a baron wasteland nothing but dust on the ground and nothing but dark clouds loom overhead, you can almost see the toxicity in the air and the lack of life brings a seemingly dull yet terrifying chill through your body. This is what the world could look like in 2019, that is, if our world leaders unite for peace or engage in nuclear war. In April 2018 North Korea’s founding “eternal president”, Kim Il Sung’s birthday will be celebrated across the nation. This will not be the only milestone for North Korea this year though, as it will also be the year the country develops nuclear weapons that are able to make it to America.
We will witness two of the world’s most hot-headed leaders, Supreme leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump go head to head in a frightening game of nuclear brinkmanship. But will 2018 bring a cold war or a nuclear disaster? North Korea is a secluded state with a population of 25 million. But it is becoming increasingly common for the citizens of North Korea to flee the tyrannical regime
A person who has exclusive insight into the system of Kim’s government and its nuclear ambition is Thae Yong Ho, one of the highest-ranking officials, to defect from North Korea. The country is already believed to have the means to deliver nuclear warheads at short and medium range. In 2017, with the world watching, Kim successfully tested his long-range missile. In 2018, he will perfect and demonstrate the ability to fit a nuclear weapon on a missile and fly it all the way to the American mainland. San Francisco and Los Angeles will be in its reach.
The road ahead will be defined by the pugnacious personalities of Kim and Trump. North Korea has long been known for hurling insults at world leaders. Mr Kim has described Mr Trump as a “mentally deranged US dotard” by responding to the taunts with equally provocative language. Played out in public, the war of words is unprecedented. The so-called “rocket man” is often ridiculed in the West but he’s proven himself to be calculating and callous. Despite the bluster and posturing there is nothing to suggest either leader wants to go to war.
In 2018, Donald Trump must choose between military action and diplomacy. China is key to Trump’s diplomatic route. As a supplier of virtually all North Korea’s oil, China could curb Kim’s behaviour. But so far China has been reluctant to intervene because it wants to avoid the collapse of the regime which could result in a unified Korea, with American troops on China’s border. There is a chance, however remote, that in the year ahead, America could order pre-emptive surgical strikes against North Korea’s nuclear-missile facilities. The impact of an American military intervention would have devastating consequences.
North Korea has a wide range of conventional artillery at the ready. North Korea would retaliate by firing missiles already positioned to hit Seoul, South Korea’s capital. The megacity of ten million people is only 56km from the North’s border. America has 28,000 troops South Korea. President Trump is capable of deploying cruise missiles, submarines and carriers within hours. Kim Jong Un would reach for his stockpile of chemical, biological and eventually nuclear weapons. The death toll would rise into the millions until American and South Korean forces eventually overwhelm the North Korean military.
So, in conclusion, war in 2018 is unlikely. The best strategy for America should not be military action but cold-war containment and deterrence. The North Korean leader might be pushing the limits of inflammatory behaviour but there isn’t any evidence that he is irrational. In 2018, China and America should increase pressure on North Korea with tougher sanctions, if this happens, in 2018, the world can avoid catastrophe. If you take into consideration everything I have told you, the chance of a possible nuclear war to end the world scenario is highly unlikely, so rest assured and have faith because this world we live in isn’t about to end, not yet.
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