In an unusual twist of events, the North Korean regime admitted concern about President Donald Trump building up the U.S. military.
For decades, North Korea has been able to develop its nuclear program without the threat of serious retaliation. The regime has been able to make agreements with American leaders, which it subsequently broke, with little consequence.
Since coming to office in January, Trump has taken a different approach to North Korea. He has demanded its complete denuclearization. In addition to seeking a diplomatic solution, he has used economic sanctions and the threat of military force to pressure North Korea to the negotiating table.
While North Korea has so far refused to engage in talks over its nuclear weapons program, there are signs that the regime is struggling to cope with the pressure.
After threatening to attack the United States and its allies in the region for years, North Korea now appears worried about the prospect of war.
In its state-controlled media, the regime in Pyongyang said Trump is creating a “ferocious war monster,” adding, “The Korean peninsula and the Asia-Pacific are teetering on the brink of nuclear war.”
The regime in Pyongyang appears to be especially concerned with the United States modernizing and upgrading its nuclear weapons.
America’s decades-old nuclear arsenal—the second largest in the world—is in serious need of modernization. Trump has ordered the military to bring the nuclear arsenal back “into tip-top shape.”
Clearly, North Korea’s leadership is closely monitoring developments in the United States. Its state media gave a detailed overview of the increases in U.S. military spending.
“The nuclear modernization project reportedly includes the replacement of Ohio-class nuclear submarine and Minuteman 3 ballistic missile and the development of latest bomber B-21 for dropping conventional and nuclear bombs and a new type of nuclear cruise missile,” North Korean media reported.
A key part of Trump’s strategy is the “peace through strength” doctrine. By building up America’s military, which has been hurt by years of spending cuts, he hopes that adversaries such as North Korea and Iran will think twice before launching an attack. This, in effect, would help prevent military action.
“Things that should have been bought over the last ten years, we’re making up for it. We have the finest military equipment in the world and we are now the biggest of all buyers,” Trump said on Sept. 7.
The defense department has said the increase in spending is needed to “continue to rebuild warfighting readiness … by fixing the holes created by previous budget cuts.”
The proposed defense budget for 2018 includes 70 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft at a projected cost of $10.3 billion, two Virginia Class Submarines at a projected cost of $5.5 billion, as well as a CBN-78 Class Aircraft Carrier at the projected cost of $4.6 billion.
The United States is also increasing its military spending on missile defense systems in response to the North Korean nuclear threats.
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