Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

What would happen if we stopped trade with North Korea?

A look at the United States’ most strained relationship since the Cold War

Written By Neil Price

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Over the past year, the elusive (and, at times, comical) North Korea has dangled the idea of its nuclear capabilities over the head of the civilized world.

Kim Jong-un, its stocky and cumbersome Supreme Leader, has made it a point to tell everyone just how ready they are to shoot missiles across the ocean and wipe out the mainland United States, and until recently, such an idea seemed unrealistic and implausible.

Then came Donald Trump, a man whose entire “presidency” has been defined by scandal, bigotry and lies. While he is taking an admirable stance against the wicked regime (as most folks are, at this point), he is making one crucial mistake – threatening to cut trade with countries that do business with it.

At first glance, this seems like a fine plan that’ll go something like this: if we threaten trade embargos with some of our most reliable partners, they’ll do the right thing by cutting ties with Jong-un and continuing business with us.

North Korea’s horrifying nuclear program won’t have enough hard currency to continue with developments on intercontinental ballistic missiles and hydrogen bombs (fun!). The empire will crumble rather than strike back, and the world will celebrate as Pyongyang fails to do anything but crawl into the dark in which it belongs.

But what happens if this whole thing doesn’t work out like that? China, one of our biggest trade partners, does business with North Korea. When we stop receiving goods from them, products are removed from American shelves. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are put on the line. An economic meltdown would surely ensue, and when we crumble, we’d be sure to take down much of the world with us, even if we didn’t want to.

The United States is a powerhouse in trade and international business. Imposing sanctions on China are not the answer.

Two years ago, when Obama was President, I wouldn’t worry about such a trivial suggestion. But Trump, who has shown us that he can be irrational, idiotic and incorrect, often all at once, worries me. With the snap of his fingers, he can cut relations with one of our biggest suppliers, and then what? Are we left to rely on others? Are we left to find a way to build ourselves back up from the inside? What if the West Coast is gone? What if Kim blows it off the map before any of this can even happen?

Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Security Council, said it best during an emergency meeting on the matter, claiming that North Korea is “begging for war.”

She urged more diplomatic talks while speaking in extremes – to her, and perhaps the government she represents, this situation is out of control, and quickly coming to a head. I would agree with her.

Haley delivered her message in a way that avoided any ideas of military conflict, suggesting that the United States didn’t want any combative involvement.

We have a lot of choices and, with her, we seem to hear about the best, most democratic ones.

Yet when Trump steps out of a limousine (usually at Mar-a-Lago) and is asked about those same choices, his answer differs from Haley’s. Where Haley might suggest more talks and peaceful resolutions, he utters two words – “we’ll see.” With South Korea conducting drills that simulate an attack on the dictator and the U.S. backing them, we sure look like we want war. And we most certainly do not.

With such serious threats comes serious responsibility, and the responsibility needed to successfully traverse this dangerous trade suggestion does not lie in the President. The people need to come out and support continued trade with China. Embargoes and sanctions would never promise an end to their relations with North Korea, and with all this rhetoric coming from both sides, we’re going to need all the help we can get.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • What would happen  if we stopped trade with North Korea?

    OPINIONS

    Americans must learn to respect people, not opinions

  • What would happen  if we stopped trade with North Korea?

    OPINIONS

    The Globe’s Point – This year, be grateful

  • What would happen  if we stopped trade with North Korea?

    OPINIONS

    Hey, Trump: don’t play games with Asia

  • What would happen  if we stopped trade with North Korea?

    OPINIONS

    The Globe’s Point – Where are all the voters now?

  • What would happen  if we stopped trade with North Korea?

    OPINIONS

    Dear Pittsburgh, feed your residents

  • What would happen  if we stopped trade with North Korea?

    OPINIONS

    Hollywood needs to take allegations more seriously

  • What would happen  if we stopped trade with North Korea?

    OPINIONS

    Dear Amazon, don’t come here

  • What would happen  if we stopped trade with North Korea?

    OPINIONS

    The Globe’s Point – The real horror is yet to come

  • What would happen  if we stopped trade with North Korea?

    OPINIONS

    Treat military families with respect, Mr. President

  • What would happen  if we stopped trade with North Korea?

    OPINIONS

    The Globe’s Point – Halloween isn’t so scary