Kim Jong-un artwork. Credit: Surian Soosay/Creative Commons 2.0

By Raffaele Del Gatto

Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un artwork.
Credit: Surian Soosay/Creative Commons 2.0


Tensions between United States and North Korea have reached new highs, as the belligerent rhetoric from both sides continues to rise. The context is worsening since July 28, when the Pyongyang’s regime tested a new intercontinental missile (ICBM). According to the analysts, the ICBM was capable to reach the west coast of United States.

The country tested an ICBM for the first time on July 4, 24 days before the last launch. The US administration fears that Pyongyang could obtain weapons of mass destruction in few years. Since then, Trump and Kim Jong-un are engaged in a war of words and conflict’s fears are rising.

People in South Korea are very worried. People in the South are used to the aggressiveness of the North, but this time is different. Ready to eat meals companies have reported a surge in the sales like never before. They have admitted that the record high sales are caused by the tensions between North Korea and United States.

 A story of missile’s tests under Kim Jong-un regime

Kim Jong-un has conducted in six years more tests that during Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung’s regimes combined together, as reported by CNN. In the first 7 months of 2017 we’ve seen 18 missile tests. Pyongyang is working hard to make progress with its program. Indeed, in the last two years North Korea’s ballistic program has advanced more fast then anticipated. Experts and analysts are concerned that new tests are around the corner.

Kim Jong-un’s goal is to obtain the nuclear warheads. He wishes to deter its enemies from attacking the country. He seems to have learned a lot from history and from the failures of Libya, Iran and Iraq. Kim Jong-un will continue to accelerate the nuclear program, not matter what the UN will try to do.

Why North Korea will not stop the nuclear program

Kim Jong-un knows his position and he has many reasons to not stop the nuclear program. First of all, he can use the nuclear development to consolidate his power. The regime rises its people to hate the USA since their childhood. This hate’s circle has its roots into the cold war, when Russia and USA divided the Korean peninsula. Since then, Pyongyang’s regime rises its children to think of USA as a former invader and a dangerous threat for their country. That’s why Kim Jong-un’s hatred dialectic on Washington strengths its consensus among the population.

Kim Jong-un is also well aware that his enemies can’t attack his country so easily. In the event the United States would attack Pyongyang, Kim Jong-un could retaliate and attacks South Korea. In this case millions of South Koreans will risk their lives. A war in the Korean peninsula could also have consequences for the nearby Japan. Even China will not tolerate the turmoil, as Beijing wants to maintain the balance in the area.

In addiction, Kim Jong-un believes that the nuclear warheads will deter any enemy attacks. Besides, the young leader wants to increase his international weight and nukes will give him more options. Lastly, he wishes to stop the sanctions against Pyongyang. This is why, despite Trump’s intimidation, he will not abandon the enrichment program.

Options against the North Korea are week and war is the worst one

In the last years, the international community has tightened the economic sanctions against North Korea. In 2013, on March 7, the United Nations approved new sanctions against Pyongyang for its underground nuclear test. And since the fourth nuclear test, occurred in January 2016, other sanctions have been hitting the reclusive nation. Even China, North Korea’s closest ally, reduced its economic support to Pyongyang. However, the sanctions have proven to be ineffective to stop North Korea’s nuclear development. 

The sanctions should undermine North Korea’s economy, but they are not working well. The country at its fastest pace in 17 years, according to South Korea’s Central Bank. However, we also need to think that the GDP growth includes the manufacture components, and with them the missile program.

The United Nations has recently announced new sanctions. They think to force Kim Jong-un at their table by slashing the North Korea’s annual export revenues by 1$ dollars. But the Korean leader is not likely going to accept their conditions.

That’s why it’s always been difficult to deal with North Korea. The options against Pyongyang are week and war is the worst of all. North Korea is not an immediate threat to the USA after all. Kim Jong-un will not order a nuclear attack against Washington. Such a move will turn Pyongyang into dust. In case he will attack the nearby nations the effect will be the same. Kim Jong-un wants the nuclear weapons to secure its country and gains international weight, nothing else.

A war with North Korea will trap the United States in a difficult conflict that could devastate the whole Korean peninsula. Moreover, Washington will risk to weaken its relation with Beijing. Is it really worth?

Former HR manager and World Editor of International Business Times Italy (Newsweek media group). Now CEO and Founder of The Business Globalist and Jobs Into Media.

Raffaele Del Gatto is a geek person obsessed by innovation, interested in geopolitics, economics and management, passionate about trading and video games.