Despite rhetoric, North Korea still a nuclear threat

In the novel “The War of the Worlds,” H.G. Wells depicts a vision of future anxiety and terror as aliens invade the earth. By surveying the current population and adopting an unsympathetic stance towards practices of humankind, they elect to destroy and disperse an alternative mode of living. With the elimination of earth’s species, it’s clear this terrestrial race has superior intellect and technology. But as ashes rain down upon a nation that once thrived, compassion and communication is long forgotten.

While Wells maintains a science fiction fantasy, his 19th century warnings are becoming more real. Instead of an alien invasion, the rogue nation of North Korea has pursued the development of nuclear weapons as well as missile technology. They have threatened to declare war on South Korea, which has impacted relations with the United States. News outlets like NBC and The New York Times quote researchers and politicians who claim that the nuclear advancements are non-threatening baby steps. But the fact that North Korea can even endorse these destructive abominations is a fearful and habitual event.

The nation released its intentions and propaganda through a YouTube video on March 15 in which missiles are fired and cheers are heard when the U.S. Capitol explodes. The voice narrating the video says, “The White House has been captured in the view of our long-range missile, and the capital of war is within the range of our atomic bomb.” It was released after the U.N. Security Council imposed stronger stipulations against North Korea and their manufacturing of nuclear weapons.

Besides the video, North Korea also threatened to enact a pre-emptive nuclear attack against the U.S. as well as South Korea. This officially nullified the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War in 1953. While U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry believes the only way to solve the issue is through negotiations, one of Kim Jong Un’s main priorities is to develop nuclear technology.

When Kim Jong Un became the supreme leader of North Korea after his father’s death, many hoped that this volatile nation could gain stability and work towards global peace. But instead of enacting a tolerant disposition, the leader vied for more power through the use of threats and nuclear coercion.

An advance the nation has made is switching from bombs fueled by plutonium to cores made out of uranium. The introduction of highly enriched uranium, also known as HEU, signifies a relationship with Iran, another country ostracized by the U.N. Along with advances, their threats include turning the capital of South Korea, Seoul, into a “sea of fire” and bombing U.S. military bases in Hawaii, Guam and Japan.

While the conflict between North Korea and the United States has not reached the proportions of “The War of The Worlds,” we walk a thin line between negotations and explosions. The nuclear technology obviously exists, but in American media, it’s only a distant threat. Perhaps this is a tactic to evade hysteria and fear experienced in the Cold War, but regardless, the average person should be concerned.