I don’t think anyone who watches international politics was surprised that the U.S. and North Korea Summit failed this past week. Things appeared to be going relatively well between U.S. president Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, until I believe it was Thursday or Friday lunch was cancelled and Trump stormed off, not to return.
Rumours have it North Korea was demanding much in the way of concessions and offering little in the way of dismantling its nuclear program. But that’s the nature of negotiation. Who knows what they were really willing to offer?
It’s my opinion that the summit should never have happened in the first place. A rogue state like North Korea should never have been allowed on the same stage as the world’s most wealthy and powerful nation, the united States.
To begin with, the United States has accused North Korea of international crime, the kind of crime that mafia usually busy themselves with. This past year the United States uncovered evidence that led it to accuse North Korea of masterminding an attack on Bangladesh’s state bank targeting $81 million, according to the Financial Times. “Criminal charges unsealed by the US justice department on Thursday alleged Park Jin Hyok, a North Korean hacker, was ordered by Kim Jong Un’s regime to carry out the attacks,” stated the Financial Times last September. “Working for a foreign government does not immunize criminal conduct,” said John Demers, assistant attorney-general in the DoJ’s national security division, according to the FT story.
Bank robbery is illegal. In Canada, if you robbed a bank it’s quite possible the police would shoot and kill as you exited with your ill-gotten gains.
In 2017 a world-wide cyber attack called Wannacry was launched. It revolved around exploiting flaws in Microsoft’s Windows system, locking up the system involved and then demands sent by the computer criminals for money in order to unlock the computers in questions. It’s estimated about 200,000 computers in 150 countries were attacked. The attack, referred to as “ransomware,” was traced back by several countries, including the U.S., U.K. and Australia, to its source, North Korea. Breaking into other people’s private systems is illegal.
Computer crime seems to be the weapon of choice when it comes to North Korea causing trouble in the international community. According to FireEye, a private corporation that specializes in internet security, that since 2014 a group of online thieves working for North Korea have attacked 11 other nations, targeting 16 institutions within those nations in an effort to steal about $1.1 billion. Again,not trying to beat a dead horse but theft, especially on that level, is illegal.
To allow North Korea to stand equally with the United States at any kind of international summit made the mistake of giving the dictatorship a place in the community of nations that it did not earn or deserve.
The North Korean dictator should have been sitting in jail somewhere facing the consequences of his actions.
Stu Salkeld is editor of The Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.