The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Admiral Walsh discusses Korean threat

Threats of nuclear research and attack from North Korea have been escalating over recent weeks, and the significance and immediacy of these threats are being examined by many of the world’s leaders.

The Daily Campus spoke with Admiral Patrick Walsh to discuss his view on the true weight and implications of growing tensions between North Korea and the rest of the world powers.

According to Walsh, “the significant threat is the introductions of the whole nuclear weapons discussion.”

Over almost the past two decades, North Korea has evolved from denying nuclear research to allowing inspection of nuclear facilities to cutting off all outside-access to said facilities and now to using nuclear weapons as direct threats to the U.S. and its territories.

Walsh said that North Korea’s “bombastic rhetoric” nonetheless reflects the fact that direct nuclear threats have blatantly resurfaced.

Walsh said that North Korea’s history of using like threats “to extract something” from another power reflects patterns from the 2010 conflict with South Korea. North Korea’s similar past threats were “used often to leverage something from the other side,” according to Walsh.

South Korea, which has perhaps the most direct neighboring and economical ties to the North, has “said very clearly that they’re not going to tolerate” this North Korean “cycle” of negotiation, bargaining, or leverage.

“The immediate concern is that the South Korean side has communicated very clearly that they are not going to allow the tradition North Korean pattern of bombastic rhetoric followed by loss of life [as in 2010],” Walsh said.

While many doubt that North Korean weapons have the distance capabilities to reach Guam or any other U.S. territories, Walsh said that the situation is still “significant and it is a concern on the immediate side.”

In addition to South Korea’s firm stance against North Korea’s current state, Walsh said that other “neighbors in the region realize the potential for miscalculation with that type of escalatory rhetoric” from North Korea.

“China has an opportunity to play an important leadership role in terms of helping North Korea to see the extremist position they are in and the isolation they are suffering from the world community,” Walsh said.

After this series of increasingly dangerous threats on the part of North Korea, the country needs to regain the confidence of world powers if it ever wants to “come back from the brink,” Walsh said.

“Leaders from around the world would certainly want to see North Korea take the proper steps to rejoin the community of nations,” Walsh said. “They continue to isolate themselves in a way that is actually very dangerous.”

North Korea’s continuing self-sequestration would ultimately mean harm for the country, as the U.S. and its allies are forced to turn against it. Walsh said that the U.S. military exercises with South Korea currently show that “the United States stands by its allies” and that they “are alliances that [the U.S. has] proven over time [it] will stand [by].”

Walsh said that the next steps on the part of the U.S. and other world leaders are to send communications to North Korea those threats, whether “bombastic” or foreshadowing “retaliation in store,” are not tolerated.

“The messaging on the part of government needs to be very clear and very direct,” Walsh said. “The leaders [of the U.S. and its allies] are being very deliberate in how they convey their message.”

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