Student Op-Eds Week in Review

Week in Review: Potential North Korean Nuclear Threat and a Roadblock to Immigration Reform

Blake Chiappetta, ‘16

Throughout the past two weeks, controversy has risen out of the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.  Threats concerning both South Korea and the United States have erupted from North Korea.  The most notable threat occurred when North Korea announced that they intend to restart their nuclear facility, with the prospect of creating a nuclear weapon.

Although this statement causes concern, Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the U.S. has not seen any difference in the North Korean military since the threats.  The North Korean military has not mobilized nor have they begun to set up defenses.  Secretary of State John Kerry said that no matter what threats were issued by the North Koreans, the United States would continue to honor its treaty with South Korea.

In order to increase its presence in the area, the US has deployed the USS McCain and the USS Decatur, both equipped with missile defending capabilities.  Should tensions escalate in Korea and missiles are fired either on South Korea or the US, these vessels will be able to destroy the missiles.  In addition to this protection, the Pentagon said that they will install radar systems in the west Pacific.

With these protections in place, the main problem remains unsolved.  North Korea vowed to restart their nuclear plant that was shut down as part of an antinuclear peace talk that took place in 2007. If the North Koreans already started their nuclear reactor it is believed that they do not possess a long range missile that could reach the United States.

As with all forms of disagreement, issues such as this can be solved through the politics of diplomacy.  Having both sides talk about the issues at hand and coming to a reasonable conclusion that settles the problem is something John Kerry hopes to accomplish as Secretary of State.  He has not only mentioned that the US plans to talk to the North Koreans to address increasing threats, but also urged North Korean allies like Russia and China to persuade the North Koreans to jump on the bandwagon of disarmament in order to solve the problem and restore peace to the region.

Despite the recent progress made by Congress towards reaching a consensus about immigration policy, recent arguments have erupted over how best to secure the border. Congress plans to legalize the approximate 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the US, but recent talks on how to secure the border threaten to kill the deal.  Some politicians think that there needs to be more border patrol guards while others believe that an extensive fence line needs to be built.  Other politicians believe that these options are not enough and would like to deploy more drones, cameras, and other technologies.  Another issue that angered House Republicans and spawned further dissent was when the Department of Homeland Security announced that these different strategies might not stop illegal immigration overall.  Support from both parties has been reached on immigration reform, but the roadblocks on defending the border need compromising.  Because there is past Congressional agreement on this issue, it is the perfect time for politicians to agree once more on a viable solution that not only allows current immigrants to receive citizenship, but also stops illegal immigration from occurring.  Once a compromise is formed on how to defend the border, Congress has the ability to pass monumental legislation that can change history.