Just a few days ago, North Korea claimed it had tested its first hydrogen bomb. The whole situation is continuously escalating, and the time has come for the United States to deal with it once and for all.
This situation should be an obvious warning about a certain Middle Eastern terrorist state. This state–Iran–happens to be allied with North Korea and with our greatest foreign threat, Russia. If we don’t change our course with Iran’s nuclear program, we may be repeating history in just a few years.
Why Iran Will Be Worse
Iran is in a similar position to North Korea in the late 1990s.
Iran just signed a deal with the Obama administration. This deal stops Iran from getting a bomb on paper in exchange for economic benefits, but essentially enshrines their nuclear program by allowing the continued enrichment of uranium.
North Korea made a similar deal with Bill Clinton that front-ended economic benefits in exchange for agreements to stop weapons production. As we now see, that deal failed. If the same timeline holds, Iran will develop nuclear weapons in ten years.
However, Iran will be even worse than North Korea once it has nukes.
First, the two nations have radically different governing regimes. North Korea has a single party and political dynasty led by a Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un. The leader’s oldest child, Kim Ju-ae, is four or five, and isn’t old enough to govern. She might not even exist at all: she has never been photographed in public.
If Kim Jong-un is removed from power, there may not be another maniac to take his place. This is why assassination is an attractive option for some military thinkers (and this author).
However, Iran is ruled by the radical Ayatollah Khamenei and the Islamic mullahs. The Ayatollah Khamenei succeedeed the old Ayatollah Khomeini after his death in the late 1980s. In theory, there are dozens of people who can step up to take the Ayatollah or any of the mullah’s places.
Moreover, the two nations also have radically different goals. North Korea presumably wants to secure its own power. However, Iran wants to destroy the West spread its radical ideology.
Options On The Table
The harsh reality is that there are zero good options on the table at this point in time. We can only use hindsight now to say that we should have been more forceful in stopping North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons.
President Trump could try diplomacy and appeasement, which has failed for the last twenty years. Trump could pressure North Korea economically by cutting off its ability to trade with China and other nations. This seems to be his strategy of choice, although it doesn’t seem to be producing the desired results.
Then there’s the military option. This, again, seems to be a terrible choice: the massive payload of conventional weaponry that Kim Jung Un has aimed Seoul, the densely populated South Korean capital city, would decimate our ally.
Those options also exist in the case of Iran. The Obama administration heavily pushed appeasement and negotiation, and the results don’t appear to be promising.
Unlike the North Korean problem, however, the United States has one advantage that could immediately end the Iranian nuclear threat: Israel.
As one of our closest allies, the Jewish state–which Iran has called for the death and destruction of on multiple occasions–has as massive interest in destroying Iran’s nuclear program. In fact, we already stopped at least two Israeli attempts to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. Plus, Israel is in a much better defensive position versus Iran than South Korea is versus North Korea.
All we need to do is let Israel deal with Iran.
Breaking the Cycle
North Korea is, simply put, awful. However, we are on track to have a worse, radical Islamic North Korea in less than a decade. We are out of good options for dealing with North Korea. However, we still have plenty of time to stop Iran from reaching the same point.
North Korea is a ticking bomb that is about to explode. Wouldn’t it behoove us to take action that prevents the next bomb from continuing its own countdown?