North Korea’s threat to the United States
Recent events have raised issues concerning North Korea’s threat to the United States. In addition, North Korea’s missile launch has raised alarm on the country’s nuclear threat. Of great concern is its ability to cause a collapse of United State’s infrastructure through electromagnetic pulse attack.
Recent observations place North Korea as a threat to United States’ electric grid as well as other infrastructures which are controlled by electricity and communication network.
Moreover, the country has capability of arming its missiles with nuclear warheads which can also reach the United States. In essence, North Korea poses a big threat to United States’ infrastructure through EMP attack from the south pole which is not protected.
Therefore, even though United States is more powerful than North Korea, the former should be concerned about potential threats posed by the latter on its infrastructure (Martinez, 2013, p. 1).
Thomas Schelling’s ideas on the threat
According to Thomas Schelling, a country can only deal rationally with threat through its foreign policy. In this regard, he argues that game theory best fits such as situation.
For instance, he comes up with four steps in his theory that would best assist the United States in defending itself against potential nuclear threat from North Korea.
The first step he talks about is Nuclear deterrence. He believes that this would help United States to prevent North Korea from launching its missiles because the latter knows the consequences of such a mission.
This could be true to some extent although it is necessary to understand that some leaders are usually deluded by their military strength that they tend to believe they could win any war. A good example is former Iraq president who knew he couldn’t fight the United States but kept trying.
Therefore, based on the nature of leadership shown by North Korean presidents, such delusions are certain to occur. Nonetheless, nuclear deterrence has worked to contain North Korea for sometime even though they are slowly bridging the military gap by testing nuclear missiles.
The next step Schelling talks about is Coercion. However, this has not worked effectively as it could since North Korea has continued to show their might through testing of missiles.
This has forced United States to use the United Nations to bar North Korea from continuing with its missile launching activities.
However, this has also failed. In fact, according to James Woolsey, a former CIA director, North Korea is least concerned with sanctions because this has existed for decades.
Moreover, recent missile launches have prompted South Korea to convene negotiations with North Korea over security concerns. This shows the level of concern North Korea brings to these countries (Woolsey & Pry, 2013, p. 1).
Schelling’s third step has been utilized severally by the United States, even though it has not worked in North Korea. Bargaining and intimidation has been utilized prominently yet it has yielded nothing of essence.
The last step concerns brinkmanship which pits both leaders against each other until one of them stops. Actually, United States has utilized all mechanisms, especially those pointed out by Schelling.
While others are proposing an attack from the United States to end this war, others are opting for negotiation and intimidation.
The former would best fit the current situation since North Korea has refused to back down. Moreover, as Woolsey suggest, it would be imperative that the United States attack North Korea’s nuclear facilities as well as protect their power grid from EMP attack (Yoon & Park, 2013, p. 1).
Martinez, L. (2013). North Korea Can Put A Nuke on a Missile, U.S. Intelligence Agency Believes. Web.
Woolsey, J. & Pry, P. (2013). How North Korea Could Cripple the U.S.: A single nuke exploded above America could cause a national blackout for months. Web.
Yoon, S. & Park, S. (2013). North Korea Test Fires Six Missiles in Three Days Off Coast. Web.