I am going to try and write this not as a Korean American adoptee. I am going to write this from a different perspective than a vet that was trained as a maintainer. I will try to address this as if I were not an American that loves the people of Korea and the United States.
But I cannot.
I write this post because I am all those things.
North Korea is heavy on my mind and has caused me to lose sleep. It is a serious issue. I understand why people think that nothing has changed. I get why people might think that all the combative words between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump are just business as usual for the two, and if the words are a bit heated… so were the words during World War I,II, and the Vietnam War. The thing is that most people only read a blurp about North Korea and think they know the whole story. They don’t get that this isn’t the 60s anymore. North Korea is a different animal and a different problem now.
I got into a Facebook discussion in which the poster stated that he was afraid of what North Korea might do if they fixed a nuclear warhead onto an ICBM. A commenter stated that there wasn’t anything to worry about and there was “no chance” North Korea would fire a missile.
Here is why I disagree and why we need to take North Korea seriously. You see this isn’t a Trump problem. Obama didn’t create this problem either.
Did a lot of presidents contribute to this issue? YES!!!
Many presidents are responsible for this issue and if you ask a South Korean they might blame the whole current day situation on the United States stopping at the DMZ during the Korean War to begin with. You ask many Americans and they’d roll their eyes and say they weren’t obligated to be there anyways so a “thank you” is just fine by them.
What we did was try to isolate North Korea and keep them away from the world until we could figure out what to do about them. At the time we weren’t about toppling established governments in the Pacific… anymore. So we let North Korea play with their toys in their sandbox and we went about our economic business on our side of the ocean as long as they didn’t bother us too much. The problem was that we never realized the North Koreans were just fine being left alone because they weren’t playing with toys and feeling sorry for themselves in a sandbox. They were building missiles instead and working out how to fire them successfully. You know all those launches that we laughed at on Facebook? The ones that skipped on the water? We aren’t laughing anymore are we? How do you get better at golf? You practice your swing and keep firing off balls until you can consistently hit them straight.
The Unites States did the same thing. We tested, retested, and tested some more nukes and ICBMs so we could fire them where we wanted. We still test. I think the general public needs to understand what a hydrogen bomb is and how much different it is compared to an A bomb. The fission that releases the fusion warhead creates such devastation you can’t compare it to Japan and what was dropped there. What we dropped on those cities were basically giant sticks of dynamite, what we have now are sophisticated war machines of death. The minute man III is a rocket that goes into the space and releases a satellite with three warheads in it. Those warheads are fired off at any direction we wish and that’s three nukes, not one. This was to replace the Titan which held ten warheads.
All this is knowledge that can be found if you dig around long enough and isn’t meant to impress you. What it is meant to do is to impress upon you the importance of the situation. The worst part about the last ten years or so is that the North Koreans have actually gotten the fusion part right. They can blow shit up basically. But they need to get the delivery, the rocket part, down so that they can finally lob one over at us like they’ve wanted to do since they discovered Wile E Coyote on Looney Tunes. I was watching a CNN.com interview inside North Korea and the interviewee actually forcefully said that Kim had better launch a missile when he has one as he has always promised his people. Those are unprecedented words in a country where you are tortured for the wrong thought or sent to a slave camp for being born into the wrong family. “Traitors” are killed by being tied to anti aircraft guns that are then fired or people are stoned to death randomly, and torture is perfected in North Korea daily. This is a country that terrorizes half its population at least. I read everything about North Korea I can find. I know that if people are openly saying these words, Kim is hearing these words. You can’t create a nation out of terror and not keep terrorizing or people stop being afraid of you. Kim has to launch a missile at us eventually.
So what is the big deal? Why don’t we just nuke Kim and be done with it? Well aside from the fact that this guy employs doubles, how there are two chubby North Koreans in North Korea I have no clue, but there you go. There is also the little fact of the DMZ and that those North Koreans are brain washed they may as well willingly follow the evil practices they take part in. Who knows who is good and evil in an evil story where everyone follows evil. So we nuke Kim at his “palace” or his ski lodge in the mountains, yea he actually had one built where only he goes, but his top general orders the line at the DMZ that separates North and South Korea to fire. Half the people in Seoul die within a few hours.
People often assume Asian cities are small unless it is one they’ve heard of… like Beijing. Let me disabuse that notion. Seoul hosts a population of over 10 million people in the direct city and 25 million total in the surrounding areas of the capital, and those citizens include visitors from all over the world. That also includes a portion of United States troops and citizens per our alliance. Seoul’s population is twice as dense as the population of New York, which makes sense if you consider how small the country is. The city is packed with lines of apartments further than you can see. If the North Koreans attacked South Korea they have enough small range missiles and weapons on the Demilitarized Zone to almost totally destroy Seoul. The amount of devastation and death that would result has never been seen in a single “act” in this world and that wouldn’t even be the end of the “war.” That would be the start of it.
North Korea got smart and consolidated to a single launching area. They also have mobile launchers which makes it difficult to find their ICBMs before launching, not that finding them would matter since we aren’t going to shoot a launcher on their soil… yet. Mobile launchers change the game and are a play from the Soviet playbook. Remember that old movie War Games where the computer simulated our cold war scenarios? Those graphics were essentially correct in that we were planning to hit their known launching pads just as they would hit ours. Anyone that lives near a nuclear silo site knows that they can’t be moved and we know where most of each other’s are in the ground. The Russians converted to mobile launchers awhile ago and nullified our first strike ability. It didn’t matter because most of our missiles we would depend are smaller more mobile alcm missiles. The type we would have in Guam that North Korea recently threatened and would have found out just what the “attack” part in attack submarine and nuclear submarine means. They could launch a missile at Guam… but that missile would see ten passing it mid air.
The problem with North Korea is that we just don’t know what they will do. And they have a big enough bat to really hurt you if they swing it at your face, enough that we don’t want to take a punch even if we could survive it. A lot of people would die. What we have done as a world is allow a bully to grow up into a bigger bully. The irony is that many people consider the Unites States in the same light and I get that. I get why some might. As a Korean born, United States adoptee… I feel a love and loyalty for both countries. I care for the safety of these two countries. I also care about the people in North Korea because I probably have relatives in that nation. That is the sad part that only Koreans seem to remember. The line that split us apart was not drawn that long ago and regardless if it were, that wouldn’t cut the lines of lineage that break our grandparent’s hearts when they see their homeland they can never visit again. Or remember a relative they may never see before they die. We wish and hope for one nation, one country under God.
There is a deep and real evil that rules North Korea that as long as it exists there will never be peace or unification on the Korean peninsula. Sanctions and ignoring the issue has done nothing but allow the issue to grow. I hope and pray that one day Kim and his lineage are displaced and that Koreans can finally walk across a land in peace that has only known war for so long.
Jason C. Cushman
Ahn Soo Jin