Despite unprecedented sanctions against his country, Kim Jong-un is still able to produce nuclear weapons, mid-range and long-range rockets and even send a satellite into space. Groups of researchers from South Korea and the United States have determined, after scavenging pieces of rocket stages, that most of the electrical components are Chinese made. Software to run the advanced electronics of the rockets has also shown up from European companies, sold to China and embedded into machinery then sold to North Korea. It would appear that China is, at best, turning a blind eye to what is exported from their country. With good reason, China’s export industry is one of the largest in the world and makes up the majority of their economy.
Trumps meeting with China last week was the typical foreign policy agenda you would expect with heavy emphasis on China doing more to curtail the efforts of North Korea further developing nuclear weapons. In a recent report, 38 North has indicated that the Punggye-ri nuclear test site shows new activity in the main administrative area. This activity coincides with the 105th birth anniversary of the Kim Il-sung this coming Saturday. South Korea played down speculation that a nuclear test was imminent saying “There has been no unusual activity so far.” Several experts believe the regime is planning to conduct a missile launch or nuclear test to coincide with Saturday’s anniversary, which is a hugely significant event known as the Day of the Sun.
Taking no chances, Trump is posturing the military and has sent the USS Carl Vinson and its strike group north from Singapore reportedly to conduct drills with Japanese self-defence force vessels en route to the Korean peninsula. Trump said on Wednesday:
We are sending an armada. Very powerful. We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier.
It sounds more like the school yard bully taunting the nerdy kid on the play ground at recess in the hopes that the nerdy kid just goes away. A more appropriate response would be similar to “I’ve warned Kim Jong-un that we have sent an armada to North Korea’s vicinity in the hopes to thwart any potential sanctioned activity.” Not sure that the president has it in him to form anything close to a complete sentence. This is a problem that Trump is not going to be able to go alone, especially if there is the threat of nuclear weapons on the table.
However this plays out, North Korea and more specifically, Kim Jong-un, are a threat to the world. They are a threat because the world has written them off as a country. It’s when there is nothing left to lose at all that even the most impoverished and sanctioned nation in the world will find a way to inflict damage to the world. China supplied electronics, software supplied by Europeans through a Chinese proxy, the world watching with trepidation as to what North Korea will do next; they have all of us exactly where they want us. It’s very possible that the Middle East isn’t the biggest problem the United States has right now, but we’re not watching closely enough and they’re “stealing candy” in plain sight.