Liberty Expose: A Defeat For North Korea

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President Donald Trump has made an excellent foreign policy decision. On Monday in a televised Cabinet meeting in the White House, President Trump stated “today the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Should have happened a long time ago. Should have happened years ago.”

The President is justified in this declaration; the behavior of the Kim regime has only grown more tyrannical and inhumane, with the current Kim, Kim Jong-un, intent on outdoing both his father and his grandfather. Why should North Korea be relisted as a sate sponsor of terrorism? Let’s look at some the affronts Kim committed just this year, starting with the murder of his brother.

On February 13th, two women – one, Đoàn Thị Hương, a Vietnamese national, and the other, Siti Aisyah, a Malaysian national, were tricked into assassinating Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of Kim Jong-un in a crowded Malaysian airport. Recruited by undercover North Korean agents under the auspices of preforming in a prank-centered YouTube show, the women threw a towel contaminated with VX nerve agent – the deadliest chemical weapon in the word – over Kim Jong-nam’s face. Shortly afterwards, Kim Jong-nam died when his bodily systems started failing.

Why did Kim Jong-un have his half-brother assassinated? Until Kim Jong-un’s ascent out of secrecy, Kim Jong-nam was the expected heir to the Kim dynasty – a throne he didn’t want. Kim Jong-nam preferred to spend his time outside of North Korea, particularly in the Chinese administrative region of Macau (known as the Las Vegas of China). When Kim Jong-un came to power, Kim Jong-nam began to voice his disapproval of his young brother’s governing techniques. Wishing to consolidate his power and to quiet someone who speaks out against the family, Kim Jong-un directed his intelligence service, who then employed foreign civilians to kill Kim Jong-nam – all done in the style of a mafia flick.

It is believed that the North Korean agents present at the assassination expected their two conned assassins to die from exposure of the agent too, but that plan fell through and Đoàn Thị Hương and Siti Aisyah are now imprisoned in Malaysia while awaiting trial.  To summarize the events, Kim Jong-un sent agents to trick foreign civilians into assassinating a regime dissenter in a crowded airport with the deadliest chemical weapon ever created.

The recklessness and pure banality of the assassination of Kim Jong-nam justifiably places North Korea under the label “state sponsor of terrorism.” However, to quote a famous informercial stock phrase “but wait, there’s more!”

Kim Jong-un has conducted more missile and nuclear tests in 2017 than in the entirety his father’s administration. In an effort to improve his missile program, Kim has conducted missile tests on February 12th, March 6th and 22nd, April 5th,16th, and 29th, May 15th, 21st, and 29th, June 8th, July 4th and 28th, August 26th and 29th, and September 15th. That is 22 missiles fired in 15 tests, the latter two being launched over Japan. On September 3rd, North Korea conducted its most power nuclear test to date.

And aside from Kim’s numerous foreign affronts, there is Kim Jong-un’s persistent abuse of the North Korean populace.

Within North Korea, Kim Jong-un has only tightened his grip on what little liberty North Koreans enjoy. Two of the latest tyrannical outreaches include Kim’s increased efforts to crackdown on external media – ostensibly to assure that North Koreans only hear censored news, and Kim’s prohibition of singing – ostensibly to assure that North Korea becomes the setting for a musical about youthful revolt.

This will be the second time North Korea to be hung on the state sponsor terror wall of shame. North Korea shares the infamy with Iran, Sudan, and Syria. North Korea was taken off the list in 2008 by the Bush administration in an attempt to utilize financial incentives such as sanctions relief to curb North Korea’s nuclear program; but alas, the efforts have failed to deter the Kim regime’s nuclear ambitions.

What will North Korea’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism do? Most notably it will expand the ability to impose sanctions on the regime. Any notion that North Korea has been sanctioned to the extreme must be dispelled; there is still much more sanction that the US can implement. Under the new designation, not only will North Korea be punished for its activities, those who trade with North Korea will also be subject to economic pressure by the United States.

The designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism is a move everyone can get behind. Kim Jong-un has become the Richard III of international affairs; like the Shakespearian villain, every action he takes resembles a classical, uncomplicated evil that isolates the Hermit Kingdom from virtually every member of the international community. (And like Richard III, Kim even has physical limitations, as the President of the United States of America so eloquently pointed out in a tweet.)

This is a constructive decision by President Trump – America’s allies in the region support the decision and it sends two important messages to Kim Jon-un; one, there are consequences to misbehavior, and two, if North Korea chooses to continue to destabilize the region, it will do so alone and under the threat of utter economic peril. This is a step in the right direction on America’s vital effort to reinvigorate the America presence on the global stage. Kim Jong-un, along with any other potential destabilizer, will know that terroristic behavior and destabilizing will not be met with apathetic disregard or appeasement.