Opinion: President Trump is demonstrating much needed strength against North Korea

People watch a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's New Year's speech, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. North Korea announced Wednesday that it will reopen a cross-border communication channel with South Korea, officials in Seoul said, another sign of easing animosity between the rivals after a year that saw the North conduct nuclear bomb and missile tests and both the Koreas and Washington issue threats of war. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - The supreme leader of North Korea used his New Year's message to brag about his country’s nuclear capability. Kim Jong Un referenced a nuclear button that is on his desk and ready for use.

American policy over the last 20 plus years would have called for the United States to not respond at all or to do so in a measured way. Where has that gotten us? North Korea has grown more and more belligerent while continuing to test ballistic missiles and develop its nuclear program.

President Trump was clear during the campaign that if the American people want for our country to start standing up to international bullies and bad actors he is the man for the job.

That is exactly what he did in tweeting a response ridiculing Kim Jong Un’s boasting.

It’s vital to remember that Kim Jong Un and the North Korean Communist Party use the supposed military might as a carrot to convince their starving and impoverished people to stay loyal. In other words, “you may be hungry and sick, but our country is great and can threaten America.”

By backing down to those threats, the United States has played right into the hands of Kim Jong Un and before him his father Kim Jong Il. That is not happening under the Trump administration.

Here is the bottom line: our leaders and foreign policy experts have coddled North Korea for decades with disastrous results. President Trump is not backing down to threats from North Korea, Iran, ISIS or other forces that hate America. Strength is the policy that will be effective with these rogue actors.

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