U.S. shouldn’t lose sight of North Korea threat

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On Jan. 29, 2002, President George W. Bush gave the first State of the Union Address following the horrific terrorist attacks nearly five months prior on Sept. 11, 2001. In the speech, he not only stated the Western world’s intentions in the War on Terror, he also labeled three rogue nations as part of the “Axis of Evil”: North Korea, Iran and Iraq.

More than six years later, danger still exists, and is still growing worse by the day. Nobody in this administration seems to take a hint.

According to an Associated Press article on March 30, North Korea threatened South Korea with “destruction” in response to escalating problems in the region.

“Everything will be in ashes – not just a sea of fire – if our advanced preemptive strike once begins,” said an unidentified North Korean military commentator.

Tensions between the two nations have reportedly increased since South Korea’s new president, Lee Myung-bak, assumed power at the beginning of the year. Mincing no words, he’s taken an early tough stance against North Korea.

Naturally, North Korea is against such action and is taking rather extreme measures to prove it by testing long range missiles and threatening nuclear attack on South Korea.

But that’s not what has me so agitated. Why isn’t the United States responding to such drastic events? Here is a rogue state of the Axis of Evil that is threatening one of our allies with destruction, and there’s hardly any press coverage. Not only that, this country actually possesses nuclear capabilities.

I’ll never forget when the BBC reported on Oct. 9, 2006, that North Korea successfully tested a nuclear device without any sign of radioactive leakage. The U.S. reported a “seismic event” shortly followed by Russia stating it was “100 percent certain” that the device was nuclear. Two years later, Pyongyang has threatened Seoul with nuclear war and the Bush administration has plans elsewhere.

On Oct. 17, 2007, the New York Times reported Bush said during a press conference that the dangers involving Iran’s potential possession of nuclear weaponry were significant.

“If Iran had a nuclear weapon, it’d be a dangerous threat to world peace,” Bush said.

Not only that, he later had the nerve to say, “So I told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”

Here are the facts, people: North Korea, in the past, has tested long-range missiles, threatened South Korea with death and detonated an actual nuclear device.

Iran has tested long-range missiles, threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth and continued its pursuit of nuclear energy. However, unlike North Korea, it possesses not one nuclear weapon. That’s a big difference. So why does North Korea seem to be getting away with all this?

As previously stated, in 2002, President Bush labeled North Korea, Iran and Iraq as part of the ridiculous Axis of Evil – three rogue nations that had little to do with the attacks on 9/11 or each other. All three countries did have one thing in common, though: They did not like the United States.

The United States invaded Iraq in 2003, not finding any nuclear or chemical payloads. Today, it continues investigating Iran while North Korea, it seems, is getting away with all the black marks that the Bush administration tries to pin on Iran, having already messed up in Iraq.

Confusing? You bet.

Regardless, in dealing with these countries, it seems that the next administration needs to consider focusing on the clear and present dangers of today (North Korea) as opposed to the clear and present possible dangers of tomorrow (Iran).

It is obvious that this administration has proven once again too ignorant to do so.

Grady Bolding is a junior in theatre. Please send comments to opinion@spub.ksu.edu.

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