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Trump Takes on N.Korea via Twitter

by Zoey Lynn

Features Editor

The President of the United States, a man known for using his Twitter account to divulge many of his presidential decisions, recently challenged the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, in a war of words. President Donald Trump used his social media platform to respond to previous remarks made by Jong-un about keeping a “nuclear button on his desk at all times.”

“Will someone from his (Jong-un) depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a nuclear button,” Trump said. “But it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his, and my button works.”

This is not the first time North Korea and America have had confrontations. Since Trump’s inauguration in January of 2017, the two leaders have gone back and forth challenging the others superiority.

“Truthfully the odds of a tweet having a massive impact in anything beyond public opinion is relatively small,” US History teacher Thomas Womack said. “There is a large state apparatus that handles foreign relations, and while there is a possibility of a tweet inciting WWIII, it is small. So if it leads to anything it will be more social media bickering, news coverage and theatrical shows of disapproval from congressmen.”

Trump focuses on using Twitter as his main means of delivering his opinions and stances on issues regarding the United States. However, this approach has caused tensions to rise between the United States and some former alliances, including South Korea. The responses given by President Trump work into the stigma he has built for himself overseas among North Korean citizens.

“What we as outside observers often forget is that Kim Jong-un is the leader of a country and that if he was not capable of making decisions that benefit him and his regime, the regime would change, most likely fairly violently,” Womack said. “So if these interactions with Trump weren't perceived in someway to be beneficial they would most likely not happen. If that is true then the social media engagement and bickering is doing nothing but good things for him. It makes America look foolish, and provides a position of strength at the negotiating table because now North Korea is reacting to a ‘perceived threat’ on its end.”

The nuclear war tweet has not been the first time the president has found himself in hot water. Trump has been criticized for his climate change, gun control and immigration tweets in the past. With terms like dotard, and boasting of personal victories, Trump’s tweets raise question as to how the president should really be communicating with citizens.

“A study done by Carnegie Mellon University during the 2016 presidential campaign put Trump's speeches at just about a 6 grade reading level,” Womack said. “As crazy as it seems, that is not unique to Trump, but when you look at who is listening and reading his speeches (Americans) you realize it is intentional. It certainly makes the ‘sad’ and ‘mine is bigger’ argument make a little more sense. It is accessible to the lowest common denominator.”

It is the duty of American citizens to select representatives that will improve the country in some way, shape or form. However, the uproar of disapproving responses aimed at Trump’s tweets has concerned citizens searching for ways to improve America’s current state.

“Everyday you should be concerned about the United States,” Womack said. “It is our country, if you can vote, go! Voter turnout is abysmally low and if everyone that could vote did, we would have a very different government. If you can’t vote, volunteer. Just because we are pretty far removed from Washington doesn’t mean it does not involve you. So like it or hate it, participate in it.”

The nuclear war tweet raised more concern than most tweets, due to the already formed problems North Korea and the United States have with each other. Tensions are high among these two nations and understanding what is happening can keep America from engaging in any dangerous conflicts.x

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