Nu­clear weapons and world peace

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY - Nimi Princewill Guest Colum­nist

WHAT DRIVES a coun­try into pos­sess­ing weapons of mass de­struc­tion that could kill mil­lions of peo­ple and wipe an en­tire city off the map in one trip? Power, pres­tige, or pro­tec­tion? How about we go with pride — and the li­cence to bully?

The United States is fa­mous for its en­vi­able sta­tus of be­ing the first coun­try to as­sem­ble an atomic bomb. Im­pres­sively, the US, of course, was the first to use it. In its self-ap­pointed role as the world’s po­lice, the United States and its al­lies feel jus­ti­fied to own a stock­pile of nu­clear weapons — yet refuse to al­low the North Kore­ans boost what’s left of their al­ready-dam­aged pub­lic im­age by cre­at­ing nukes of their own.

Pak­istan, Israel and India (the sup­posed friends of the West) threw cau­tion to the wind and ac­quired nukes for them­selves. In­ter­est­ingly, they weren’t bul­lied into get­ting rid of their nu­clear projects. Maybe be­cause they drink at the same bar with their bet­ters.

The North Kore­ans are the iso­lated nerds who are con­stantly flat­tered as the world’s most-hated na­tion — with the most sac­ri­le­gious gov­ern­ment and a mon­ster ego! Hence, al­low­ing the creepy lon­ers keep their nukes could be ter­ri­fy­ingly danger­ous. Much more danger­ous now that they’ve pro­cured a bal­lis­tic mis­sile that could badly hurt the United States.


With an im­mi­nent regime change should the US in­vade North Korea in a bid to force­fully rid them of their nukes and top­ple the gov­ern­ment of Kim Jong-un, it will re­quire a lot more than war threats or heavy sanc­tions (which they’ve grown quite ac­cus­tomed to) to get the re­silient North Kore­ans to for­feit what seems to be their only plau­si­ble life­line.

No one would hur­riedly clas­sify North Korea’s leader as a drunken fool who’s merely aim­ing to at­tack Amer­ica just be­cause his ego said so. Kim Jong-un is fully aware that an at­tack on the United States will be met with de­struc­tive con­se­quences. He isn’t sui­ci­dal!

The North Kore­ans are un­likely to use their nukes, un­less they run out of op­tions and if the US car­ries out their threat of mil­i­tary ac­tion. Wag­ing a war, or tempt­ing the North Kore­ans to strike first, only en­dan­gers the lives of US cit­i­zens that are bound to be lost in the event of a North Korean at­tack.

Why can’t the US learn to live with a nu­clear-armed North Korea the same way it has lived with a nu­clear-armed Rus­sia, China, India, Pak­istan and Israel?

Nimi Princewill is a Nige­ria-born writer and so­cial re­former. Email feed­back to col­umns@glean­ and princewill.nimi@ya­

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