Opinion: “An Even Colder War?”

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, third from left in front, at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, Pool)

Upon hearing the term “Cold War”, most people draw a connection to 1950’s tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. During this time, both dominant nations were competing against one another to create more powerful weapons, reach technological advances faster, and see who the first man to land on the moon could be.  

Though the parallel seems extreme, similar international competitions have been taking place today, yet have not been truly discussed in relation to one another. Take, for instance: the debate over use of nuclear weapons between the U.S and North Korea has been going on since 1994, when parties settled on not engaging in nuclear advancement.  

However, with the inauguration of President Donald Trump in January of 2017, tension over this issue has begun to resurface. Though both North Korea and the U.S declared that they pledged to “abandon all nuclear weapons” at the Six-Party Talks in 2003, we saw Kim Jong-un announce last January that the country’s nuclear arsenal was completed. This shows uncanny similarity to the introduction and use of the atomic bomb during the 50s and is not the only red flag when it comes to the possibility of another cold war.  

Looking in detail, the mid-twentieth century was not only a time of large scare politically, but a turning point in technology and innovation: TV, blockbuster films and radio entertainment began to flourish. Though this had many positive attributes of course, throughout the cold war it became easier for people to hear the news; some of which was real, and some of which was fake.  

In the 50s we saw society turn on itself, and hundreds of people lost their jobs when colleagues testified against them for their political beliefs. This is something that is unfortunately common in the U.S with falsified stories of immigration and refugees.  

In context, technological warfare is evident today, as blackmailers and online fishing scams from North Korea have been brought to U.S attention. By masking their true identities, scammers have been able to both advertise fake jobs, use LinkedIn accounts, Facebook pages and political platforms to exploit U.S customers and pull in millions of dollars from unsuspecting U.S citizens

Though it may seem irrelevant in the case of brewing war tension, this is a scary time for the U.S in that we do not know what North Korea is capable of accessing by hacking; White House records, Military data, as well as the exploitation of businesses is all on the line.  

Furthermore, the continuous social media backlash between Jong-Un and Trump is no help for the cause.

These new platforms, as well as the vast variety of online news clips, only make it easier for both parties to be able to create fury with words towards each other, as well as access such allegations instantaneously, continuing to stir the pot.  

So, will history repeat itself? Though we can never, especially in global politics, predict or presume the future, such similarities between history and the future of hostile warfare is not something to be overlooked. It is relatively safe to say that both the U.S, and North Korea are in a state that can only be deemed as a second, or colder war.  

Whether or not one of these countries will actually engage in violent warfare is up in the air, but the astronomical dangers of nuclear war, as well as online scamming and hacking are quite evident to both parties involved. Though it may not be too late for negotiation, have tensions risen too high? It is not easy to say, but let us not forget, the people have the power and change is imminent.  


Katherine Blaine is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at katherine.blaine@uconn.edu.

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