Donald Trump has been talking about North Korea for a long time. In February of 2016, he told Charlie Rose and a panel of talking heads on CBS that China is in complete control of North Korea and that he would force them to reign in the rogue communist state using economic sanctions.
Even among strong nationalistic supporters of the President who want American interests to come first recognize that North Korea may be a threat that will have to be dealt with. Even many of those who do not believe that North Korea might pose a military threat to the United States are ready to admit that communist dictatorship is so brutal to its own people that military action against the regime would be legitimate.
Since Trump took office, Kim Jong-un has been ramping up missile tests, aggressive posturing against its neighbors, and possibly has resumed testing atomic weapons underground. In the first week of June, Trump warned North Korea to stop the aggressive posturing, offering that non-compliance would come with consequences.
It wouldn’t be the first time in history that the United States would have stepped in to stop the aggressive dictatorship from bullying its neighbors in the region. In 1950, emboldened by our success in WW2, the U.S. invaded North Korea in response to their invasion of South Korea. The result was the total division of the north and southern sections of that country. We have remained fast friends with the now modern South Korea. But the North has never officially made any peaceful declaration and still considers the southern portion of the country and its people to be theirs.
To put it axiomatically, North Korea is a rabid dog on a short leash- and South Korea is just within its reach. Indeed, the Northern state has menaced its southern neighbor for years. It stages annual displays of force on its southern border, firing enormous amounts of an ordinance and performing unsubtle military maneuvers to antagonize the South.
Trump’s warning to the Communist state didn’t get much airtime this month and we have begun to forget to be afraid of Kim Jong-un. But they have popped back onto our radar this week as Donald Trump condemned them for the death of an American student after he was rescued from the region.
Otto Warmbier spent just over a year in North Korea before he was able to return to be with his family- shortly after which time he died due to the extremely harsh treatment he received while in the custody of the North Korean government.
Warmbier was just 22 years old and was an American college student. UC Health Systems reported his death saying, “It is our sad duty to report that, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his loving family, he died today at 2:20 pm.”
The family released the following statement shortly thereafter, “Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today.”
President Trump responded quickly, calling North Korea a “brutal regime” and offered his condolences to the Warmbier family. He went on to express the sentiment that, as horrible as the 22-year-old’s treatment at the hands of Jong-un’s regime was, at least we were able to unite him with his family at the end.
He said, “There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Otto’s family and friends, and all who loved him.”
“Otto’s fate deepens my Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency.”
“The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim.”
Warmbier was condemned to 15 years in a hard labor camp after confessing to the crime of attempting to tear down a propaganda poster. He was held in captivity for nearly a year and a half before being medically evacuated. Doctors diagnosed him with severe neurological damage, malnutrition, and extreme exhaustion.
Otto’s parents told the AP, “[We want] the world to know how our son was brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime.” The family expressed relief that Otto had been returned to be with those who love him.
Communist regimes have been responsible for nearly 400 million deaths over the last 150 years.
~ American Liberty Report