America, beware of cowboy justice

Jonathan Septer

The world is up in arms over North Korea’s rumored nuclear weapons test – literally. Analysts on posit that Japan and South Korea could begin nuclear weapons programs of their own now that North Korea has performed its test.

North Korean officials cite a need to deter a U.S. attack as the reason for nuclear armament. They fear an attack because of their suspicions that U.S. forces in South Korea pose a real threat to the communist regime.

Could the United States be gearing up for a major war with the armed forces already spread thin in Afghanistan and Iraq? Only time and the will of North Korea may tell. If the past is any indication, the will of North Korea is strong. They were responsible for the first major U.S. military loss: the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Interestingly, China and Japan, who are old enemies, are joining forces in their warnings to North Korea. The reason for this is simple: China is on the border where North Korea plans to test its weapon, and Japan is one of the most likely targets for a North Korean military offense. This was displayed earlier this year when North Korea fired test missiles in Japan’s direction. Besides, Japan has roughly 214,000 other reasons for fearing a new nuclear power.

On Aug 6, 1945, the U.S. became the first country to use nuclear warfare when the city of Hiroshima, Japan, was hit with an atomic bomb. Some 140,000 people died from the bomb and its effects. On Aug 9, 1945, the United States became the last country to use nuclear warfare when the city of Nagasaki was hit with a second atomic bomb. About 74,000 people died from that bomb and its effects.

Obviously, Japan would prefer to ensure that a declared enemy does not gain access to nuclear weapons. China does not want nuclear fallout drifting over their borders. But what interest does the United States have with North Korea? How can the U.S. restrict the right of another country to have nuclear weapons? We still have ours. Sure, they aren’t armed, but that only takes the push of a few buttons.

The way the United States handled the Korean War was deemed a mistake by historians. It was a prequel to the farce that was the Vietnam War, and analysts are beginning to equate the war in Iraq with these historic losses by the United States.

America may be gearing up to move armed forces against North Korea. We are now full-circle. This time North Korea may have nuclear weapons. If history is doomed to repeat itself, America’s brand of cowboy justice may bring about the worst militaristic destruction the world has witnessed in more than 60 years.

Jonathan D. Septer is a senior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].