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Home About Antiwar.com Donate Blog US Casualties Contact Latest NewsWhy Is North Korea Our Problem?

For Xi Jinping, it has been a rough week.

Panicked flight from China’s currency twice caused a plunge of 7 percent in her stock market, forcing a suspension of trading.

Kim Jong Un, the megalomaniac who runs North Korea, ignored Xi’s warning and set off a fourth nuclear bomb. While probably not a hydrogen bomb as claimed, it was the largest blast ever in Korea.

And if Pyongyang continues building and testing nuclear bombs, Beijing is going to wake up one day and find that its neighbors, South Korea and Japan, have also acquired nuclear weapons as deterrents to North Korea.

And should Japan and South Korea do so, Taiwan, Vietnam and Manila, all bullied by Beijing, may also be in the market for nukes.

Hence, if Beijing refuses to cooperate to de-nuclearize North Korea, she could find herself, a decade hence, surrounded by nuclear weapons states, from Russia to India and from Pakistan to Japan.

Still, this testing of a bomb by North Korea, coupled with the bellicosity of Kim Jong Un, should cause us to take a hard look at our own war guarantees to Asia that date back to John Foster Dulles.

At the end of the Korean War in July 1953, South Korea was devastated, unable to defend herself without the U.S. Navy and Air Force and scores of thousands of U.S. troops.

So, America negotiated a mutual security treaty.

But today, South Korea has 50 million people, twice that of the North, the world’s 13th largest economy, 40 times the size of North Korea’s, and access to the most modern U.S. weapons.

In 2015, Seoul ran a trade surplus of almost $30 billion with the United States, a sum almost equal to North Korea’s entire GDP.

Why, then, are 25,000 U.S. troops still in South Korea?

Why are they in the DMZ, ensuring that Americans are among the first to die in any Second Korean War?

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