BBurak

This blog piece I will write today is organized like a take-home essay and it has a simple question: What does/should Trump do vis-a-vis- the nuclear programmes of Iran and North Korea?

 

First I will define terminology then write some basic information of the two countries then I will try to make some evaluations about Trump.

 

 

 

 

Definiton of Nuclear Weapon[1]: A nuclear weapon is a device that releases nuclear energy in an explosive manner as the result of nuclear chain reactions involving fission, or fission and fusion, of atomic nuclei. Such weapons are also sometimes referred to as atomic bombs (a fission-based weapon); or boosted fission weapons (a fission-based weapon deriving a slightly higher yield from a small fusion reaction); or hydrogen bombs/thermonuclear weapons (a weapon deriving a significant portion of its energy from fusion reactions).

[1] https://www.nti.org/learn/glossary/#nuclear-weapon (Access: 07.09.19)

 

 

*Overview of North Korea:

 

North Korea (formally, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or DPRK), has active and increasingly sophisticated nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. North Korea unilaterally withdrew from the Traty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in January 2003, is not a party to the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty and has conducted six increasingly sophisticated nuclear tests since 2006. The DPRK is not a party to the chemical weapons convention, and is believed to possess a large chemical weapons program as well.[1]

 

North Korea’s nuclear ambitions date to the Korean War in the 1950s, but came to the attention of the international community in 1992, when the International Atomic Agency discovered that its nuclear activities were more extensive than it declared.[2] It is also known that, North Korea has the smallest, most basic nuclear weapons programme in the world.

[1] https://www.nti.org/learn/countries/north-korea/ (Access: 07.09.19)

[2] Ibid.

 

 

*Overview of Iran:

Iran’s interest in nuclear technology technology dates to the 1950s, when the Shah of Iran received technical assistance under the U. S. Atoms for Peace Programme program. It can be said that, Iran’s nuclear program began in the 1950s but was slow to progress. Iranian leaders began refocusing on nuclear technology in the late 1980s and early 1990s. [1]

 

Russia and Iran signed a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement in 1992. It is important to note that, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed the existence of undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran in the early 2000s. Iran had problems with other countries on the issue of nuclear armament. Tensions with the international community further increased after President Ahmadinejad announced that Iran intended to go on uranium enrichment activities.[2]

[1] https://www.nti.org/learn/countries/iran/nuclear/ (Access: 07.09.2019)

[2] Ibid.

 

 

*What should Trump do vis-a-vis the nuclear weapons of Iran and North Korea?

Nuclear proliferation is very dangerous if its not controlled and monitored by an authority. As the US is the superpower of the system should cooperate with international organizations to provide peace.

 

There are two approaches/theories: Proliferation optimists and proliferation pessimists. The US seems to stand in the pessimistic side, especially with its relations with Iran. There is a big tension between Iran and the US. Lately, the US accused Iran of nuclear extortion.[1] In fact, Trump first try to negotiate if diplomacy does not work, sanctions would be an option for Trump. Iran also accuses US for targeting civilians. So Trump in fact has not many options with Iran.

 

With North Korea, between 2017 and 2018, there was a tension. The US stil continued negotiations. It is also known that, lthough much of the U.S. media discourse about North Korea portrays the country’s leadership and its pursuit of nuclear arms as illogical, the majority of specialists see the North Korean regime as rational and calculating. Based on this, Trump should follow a rational and moderate policy with logical tweets as well about North Korea.

 

Lastly, I think both Iran and North Korea pose a certain degree of threat to peace as they are not transparent in their nuclear armament strategies. They prefer not to be accountable to an authority and this endangers global peace.

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/10/world/europe/us-iran-nuclear-sanctions.html

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, for a trip to visit the Lima Army Tank Plant in Lima, Ohio, and a fundraising event in Canton. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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