On Saturday, April 2, US Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump told a crowd of thousands in Rothschild, Wisconsin that he was optimistic about potential hostilities between North Korea and its neighbors. He said that if conflict between Japan and nuclear-armed North Korea were to break out, “it would be a terrible thing but if they do, they do”.
“Good luck,” he added. “Enjoy yourself, folks.”
Referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, Trump also complained that the US had 28,000 troops on the armistice line between North Korea and South Korea “to stop a maniac”, adding that the United States received no benefit from deploying troops around the world to help other countries who did not reimburse American taxpayers. “We can’t be the policeman of the world,” said Trump.
“What we do get out of it?” he asked. “It’s time that other people stopped looking at us as stupid, stupid people.”
He pledged, if elected, “we are going to get these countries to pay and to pay all the money they owe us for many years … we’ve been carrying these countries”, he said.
US troops are deployed in South Korea to support the United Nations, which enforces an armistice ending the Korean War in 1953.
The two countries are still technically at war, and North Korea often engages in belligerent activity, which recently has included sinking a South Korean ship and bombarding South Korean territory. Both events could have led to war, had other countries like the US, Japan and China not stepped in to calm the situation down.
This week, as President Obama chaired a multi-nation nuclear security summit in Washington, Pyongyang carried out the latest of a number of ballistic missile tests. Last week, North Korea released a propaganda film that showed the US capital under nuclear attack.
According to Trump: “Frankly, the case could be made to let [Japan] protect themselves against North Korea, they’d probably wipe them out pretty quick.
Trump previously suggested in a televised interview with CNN that South Korea and Japan should have their own nuclear weapons, in contradiction of more than half a century of American foreign policy. The Republican frontrunner said of that policy: “Maybe it’s going to have to be time to change.”
Japan shocked the world recently when it added a ‘helicopter landing ship’ to their Navy – which looked exactly like an aircraft carrier. They have since added several larger versions of the same. While Japan has for decades been constitutionally prohibited from having an army, we reported in 2015 that this was no longer the case. They have built three aircraft carriers in the last several years and clearly are ramping up militarily again. China also has several aircraft carriers under construction on a massive rearmament campaign.
Not surprising to my readers, I’m sure, I agree with Trump completely on most points. Its time that the world not assume that the Western powers are going to bail them out every time some banana republic dictator threatens their neighbors.
A nuclear North Korea must not be allowed by the international community, but I certainly do not agree that the solution would be to add even more nations to the Nuclear Old Boy’s Club. A agreement is unlikely to be reached with North Korea to disarm its reported nuclear stockpiles (Clinton already tried it once and clearly failed, and Obama ruined any possibility of good deal for us with his idiotic agreement with Iran). Perhaps we would have to strike at North Korean nuclear facilities, much like Israel did with Iran years ago.
Tensions between China, Japan and the Koreas are for the most part not North America’s problem currently. A war between these four powerful nations could literally destroy the entire Pacific Rim, if not the world. Here is how they militarily stack up at present:
#3 most powerful armed forces
Total Population: 1,367,485,388
Fit for Service: 619,000,000
Reaching Military Age Annually: 19,550,000
Active Frontline Personnel: 2,335,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 2,300,000
Total Aircraft: 2,942
Navy Ships: 646, including 1 aircraft carrier
#3 most powerful armed forces
Total Population: 126,919,659
Fit for Service: 44,000,000
Reaching Military Age Annually: 1,215,000
Active Frontline Personnel: 250,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 57,900
Total Aircraft: 1,590
Navy Ships: 131, including 3 aircraft carriers
#7 most powerful armed forces
Total Population: 49,115,196
Fit for Service: 21,035,000
Reaching Military Age Annually: 690,000
Active Frontline Personnel: 625,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 2,900,000
Total Aircraft: 1,451
Navy Ships: 166, including 1aircraft carriers
#25 most powerful armed forces
Total Population: 24,983,205
Fit for Service: 10,100,000
Reaching Military Age Annually: 415,000
Active Frontline Personnel: 700,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 4,500,000
Total Aircraft: 944
Navy Ships: 967, including 0 aircraft carriers
I agree with Trump that its time South Korea, the Philippines, Germany and others start paying for the privilege of US troops stationed in their nations for their protection. And Mr. Trump, while you are at it, please kick the United Nations out of New York, and pull the United States out of this international joke. It accomplishes nothing militarily and costs most of us Western powers a fortune to maintain.
The threat of a massive war in Asia looms more clearly every day. Perhaps, with the possible election of Donald Trump as President later this year, the United States and its allies, including my home Canada, could avoid being dragged into the conflict, at least at the beginning. That alone should give Americans more encouragement to vote for the billionaire in November.