On Thursday, North Korea reacted to Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to the Korean Peninsula by launching several short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan.
The missile launches, which violate international law, reportedly occurred hours after Vice President Harris delivered a speech to join United States and South Korean forces.
In response to the purposefully intimidating attacks, Harris reportedly stated that North Korea’s actions are “a provocation and it is meant, we believe, to destabilize the region, and we’re taking it seriously.”
Kamala Harris visited the DMZ today – just one day after North Korea fired two short range missiles into the sea.
“It is clearly a provocation and it is meant, we believe, to destabilize the region,” she said. “And we’re taking it seriously.”https://t.co/vcco0DPWst pic.twitter.com/0D8x519k7z
— POLITICO (@politico) September 29, 2022
Yet North Korea seems indifferent to the United States’ threats, as the recent missile launches were preceded by tens of similar launches fired since President Joe Biden took office.
As such, it is seriously questionable whether North Korea will heed America’s cease-and-desist warnings.
Critics state that the Biden administration is merely tossing empty threats at North Korea. Many point to gaffes such as Harris mistakenly praising the “the US’s military alliance to North Korea” as evidence that the Biden administration is not taking the issue seriously.
KAMALA HARRIS: "The United States shares a very important relationship, which is an alliance with the Republic of North Korea." pic.twitter.com/H2dI5UYOlo
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 29, 2022
On a broader scale, critics also point to the Biden administration’s poor handling of the Afghanistan crisis last summer as diminishing the United States’ international credibility. Some claim that humiliating international fiascos such as what occurred in Afghanistan increase authoritarian regime’s confidence in the face of American intimidation.
Moreover, Republicans will be quick to remind American voters of the international respect enjoyed by the US during the last administration.
Namely, Republicans will compare North Korea’s current nuclear aggressions in response to American Presence in Korea to ex-President Donald Trump’s royal treatment by Kim-Jung-Un.
When the 45th President arrived in Korea, the North Korean leader greeted Trump himself and invited him to visit the country, making Trump the first American President to officially visit North Korea.