When it comes to North Korea, the U.S. approach under Trump is to speak loudly and carry a big stick. After Pyongyang announced it has an operational ICBM missile capable of reaching Alaska or Hawaii, the U.S. indicated it will act “very strongly” and do “severe things” to North Korea in retaliation. To bolster this, the U.S. military has put on a show of force on Guam in conjunction with the South Korean military for all the world to see. Two U.S. bombers went through practice drills off Guam to perform the live-fire maneuvers they would use to neutralize an ICBM missile launcher and its attendant facilities.
This comes on the heels of the country’s latest test and some revelations regarding their nuclear capabilities. According to The Washington Post, North Korea is yet another country with a troubling agenda that finds itself squarely between U.S. and Russian interests, and it might not be as closed off as they seem. Yesterday President Trump was able to broker a Syrian ceasefire deal with Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit. That’s also where a lot of North Korea’s early missiles came from.
In the 1980s, Syria and Egypt were more than happy to sell their old Soviet missiles to North Korea. That gave them functional examples to study and work off—and to make things even easier, the engineers that North Korea found to do the work were Soviet rocket scientists looking for work as the USSR crumbled. North Korea has also found a revenue stream, and allies, by wheeling and dealing with some of Russia’s other friends and allies. North Korea was able to swap its Soviet-style missiles to Iran for their war with Iraq and Pakistan in the 1980s in exchange for nuclear technology.