North Korea issued a strong statement condemning U.S. President Donald Trump’s increased budget for defense which included funding allocation for a new permanent military base in Israel as proof the country plans to dominate in the Middle East.
The government newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported that the inflated $700 Billion defense budget for 2018 was $100 Billion higher than 2017. The newspaper believes the significant increase in military spending shows that “the U.S. ruling quarters are seized with such megalomania as dominating the world.”
For North Korea, the massive budget contradicted the United States efforts to maintain peace in the region.
Last September, Pyongyang reportedly detonated what has been described as the regime’s first hydrogen bomb. Weeks later, North Korea launched an Intercontinental Ballistic Missle (ICBM) which flew over Japan and landed in the ocean within striking distance of its islands.
Previously, North Korea has threatened testing its ICBM capabilities toward Guam.
As a result, the United Nations and the United States aggressively imposed economic sanctions against North Korea. China, a long-time staunch ally, issued a shutdown on North Korean companies in the country and suspended trade agreements.
The events have initiated a standoff between Pyongyang and Washington. President Trump has called North Korea supreme leader Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” and vows to “destroy North Korea” if the regime continues to test its nuclear capabilities.
North Korea has historically supported Arab forces that are opposed to Israel. During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Kim Jong Un’s grandfather and the country’s first supreme leader Kim Il –Sung sent military personnel to support Egypt’s armed forces in its battle with Israel.
In the 1980’s North Korea supplied military hardware to left-wing Arab states and pro-Palestinian groups. In 1988, despite Israel’s territorial claims, the regime expressed support for an independent Palestinian state.
When Kim Jong Un took over as supreme leader after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, Pyongyang began to closely align itself with the so-called “Axis of Resistance” which includes Syria, Iran and the Lebanese Shiite Muslim movement, Hezbollah.
These three countries along with North Korea are united in their opposition to U.S. and Israel foreign policy.
Last April 7, President Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian airbase in response to chemical attacks on civilians. Israel has likewise conducted airstrikes versus the forces of Syria, Ian and Hezbollah.
According to Israel Brigadier General Zvi Haimovich, the U.S. military base was “right and necessary” and should be “here to stay”.