By Lukas Villarin
Day 90 of Trump’s presidency focused on international relations, opening with the Vice President’s speech warning North Korea against any aggressive actions.
“Those who would challenge our resolve or readiness should know, we will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response,” Pence said, referring to North Korea’s recent failed missile launch. Trump’s administration’s goal, according to The Los Angeles Times, is to seek a peaceful resolution as the United States and China collaborate to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. Pence’s presence in the area, and in the demilitarized zone specifically, is meant to be a show of resolve and American presence as the United States continues to pressure North Korea into negotiations.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration officially confirmed with Congress that Iran remains in compliance of the nuclear plan put into place by former President Barack Obama. However, the administration has begun to examine the agreement in order to assure it is still within the United State’s best interests in terms of national security.
The agreement, completed in 2015, outlines the slowing of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanction relief. However, arguments have been made that the agreement does not allow for enforcement of the restrictions, and still allows Iran slow, but still present, investigation into nuclear arms.
According to the Associated Press, although Iran is within the restrictions of the agreement, Trump is still “looking for another way to ratchet up pressure on Tehran.”
Things seem to be heating up, especially with President Trump’s penchant for “unpredictability” and “willingness to use force.” As Trump continues to put pressure on both Iran and North Korea, it’s only a matter of time until a resolution is achieved, whether it be peaceful or violent. We continue to hope that negotiations can take place, but our hope wanes as North Korea continues to test new missiles. On the other hand, it’s encouraging to see that Trump and Pence are taking a stalwart stand, similar to that of former President Obama’s, alongside both our Middle Eastern and Asian allies against aggressive military actions. However, only time can tell as we wait to see if a peaceful resolution can be attained.