What You Need to Know About Trump & North Korea

President Trump has had his eye on North Korea since Inauguration Day (and not in a friendly kind of way). Obviously, with North Korea's reputation, Americans have been worried about the country's capabilities. But with Trump's "blunt" words directed towards their leader, Kim Jong-un, tensions have escalated. There's been a lot about these two powerful countries in the news lately, so here's what you need to know.

Trump's been throwing shade since January.

His tweet made Americans fear for a World War III. But instead of presenting what exactly he'll do about it, Trump just asserts his dominance, as though that will be enough. 

North Korea was establishing itself as a threat early on.

In March, North Korea fired test missiles toward Japan. This was when the U.S. was preparing a new defense system with South Korea, which Japan was also considering bringing in. It was a terrifying threat to Japan, and pushed Trump to get serious about his policies for North Korea. Oh, and it made China pretty mad too. 

In July, North Korea got everyone's attention.

On July 4, it was confirmed that North Korea launched an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. According to The New York Times, the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said the missile (Hwasong-14) could definitely hit the United States. And then everyone started freaking out. "Mr. Kim’s repeated missile tests show that a more definitive demonstration that he can reach the American mainland cannot be far away, even if it may be a few years before he can fit a nuclear warhead onto his increasingly powerful missiles," the Times reports. 

So, Kim Jong-un could put a nuclear warhead onto a missile and shoot it all the way to Alaska? And then he made fun of us. “I guess they are not too happy with the gift package we sent them for the occasion of their Independence Day. We should often send them gift packages so they won’t be too bored," he told the Korean news agency.

So, Trump decided to make his own threat.

In theory, this tweet is a lot scarier than Kim Jong-un's jokes. Trump is basically saying, "You want us? Come and get us!" Truthfully, the tweet made a lot of Americans feel safe. They want someone who is going to take action instead of saying a lot and doing nothing. But Trump should know better than to tweet so irresponsibly.

Why is this tweet so dangerous? Vox News reports that being "fully in place" would require "deploying a huge number of new military assets beyond what the U.S. currently has stationed in South Korea and East Asia." Lt. Colonel Christopher B. Logan, a Pentagon spokesperson told Vox that there have been "no changes" related to the latest North Korea incident. So what Trump tweeted isn't actually true, but could still put us in danger by making North Korea think striking us first is a good idea.

I guess Trump is all talk and no action just yet. His words (and tweets) have so much influence on the actions of countries around the world—if only he would use them to his advantage.

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About The Author

Morgan is a sophomore at St. John's University in Queens, New York. She is a journalism major with a passion for news and culture, and a staff writer for St. John's independent student newspaper The Torch. Aside from writing for Her Campus, she is a spoken word poet and pianist. Her past work can be found at morgancmullings.wordpress.com. Twitter & Instagram: @morgancmullings