North Korea, Trump and NATO: A Significant Challenge to the Western Alliance


2017-05-22 By Danny Lam

North Korea responded to President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia and $110 billion arms sales on behalf of Iran with a ballistic missile test.

Coming a week after the last missile test, the medium range ballistic missile is believed to be a solid fueled Pukguksong-2 with a potential range of 1,200-3,000km.

Sent as a proxy message from Iran, all of Saudi Arabia and Yemen, as with parts of NATO members like Germany, Italy, Poland is within range.

DPRK’s message sets the stage for President Trump’s first NATO meeting in Brussels.

At present, North Korean nuclear ballistic missiles are regarded by NATO members except the United States as a non-proliferation nuisance that barely warrant a protest note and perhaps a desultory discussion at a leisurely disarmament conference.

NATO member Canada, who is aspiring to be elected as a UN Security Council member, did not see fit to issue any statement or expressed any concern about the DPRK threat.

Iran is the primary financial sponsor of DPRK’s missile and nuclear arsenal programs and will be the beneficiary of the technical data and expertise garnered from the tests.

The United States and Canada are no longer the only NATO members threatened by NORK WMDs: When Germany, Italy and Southeastern NATO members like Poland, Turkey, are within range of Iranian-DPRK nuclear missiles, it is indisputably an existential threat to NATO as a whole.

NATO have been slow to recognize the tight coupling between DPRK-Iran WMD programs as an existential threat, preferring to focus on apparently more salient issues like NATO’s relevancy, Russia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Homophobia, Gender Equality, or progress toward 2% GDP spending on defense circa 2030.

Far from the mind of NATO members, including nuclear armed UK and France, is that extended deterrence may fail given DPRK’s thinking in the historical and martial traditions of Northeast Asia.

North Korean and Iran are in fact an imminent, clear, and present existential threat to NATO members in two ways:   First, as an existential threat where thermonuclear ballistic missiles can destroy significant portions of NATO.   Second, an existential threat in that North Korea have indisputably and repeatedly demonstrated that they intend to use their nuclear arsenal for the purposes of extortion.

Once the taboo against using nuclear arsenals any other purpose beside deterrence is breached by its use for economic extortion by North Korea under Kim Jong Un, it opens the door for its use for other purposes: e.g. compel adoption of a particular religion, genocide, etc.

In other words, the destruction of Anglo-European values, and with it, the global economic system on a grand scale.

NATO members have expressed fear and trepidation at President Trump, “It’s like they’re preparing to deal with a child — someone with a short attention span and mood who has no knowledge of NATO, no interest in in-depth policy issues, nothing,”.

Perhaps NATO officials should have a deep look at how in fact they fit this description as shown by their collective blind eye and refusal to look at, let alone acknowledge the DPRK-Iran nuclear arsenal problem.

President Donald J. Trump brings to the table a unique perspective.

He is probably the only NATO head of state/government that have had a lifetime of experience dealing with extortionists. As a major real estate developer, President Trump have on more than one occasion been “shaken down.” He knows intuitively how much he will tolerate, and at what point, summon the police.

The DPRK-Iran WMD problem is in many ways, similar.

DPRK has a history of and is presently making extortionate demands, e.g. to be paid to halt WMD development and deployment.

Iran was handsomely paid off by the Obama Administration, only to shift their nuclear arsenal and missile development to DPRK with their new found access to tens of billions of cash.

Once paid off, both DPRK and Iran are back at it again unless they get paid more: The classic behavior of an extortionist.

President Trump is now the leader of the world’s police force: A weak, fractious “federal” police force at the UN with no direct military power, and a potentially powerful police force of US, NATO and non-NATO allies.

During the NATO Summit, President Trump has the opportunity to sound the warning about the true character and nature of the DPRK-Iran Axis like Sir Winston Churchill did in November, 1934, when war weary European leaders are obsessed with appeasing that Austrian Corporal.

Sir Winston Churchill’s early warning was ignored until well into late 1930s. By then, it was too late to prevent another world war.

President Trump, by alerting NATO allies to the threat and forging a consensus for collective action, can accelerate the process of fielding a more credible deterrent against DPRK-Iran and others, before it is too late.