Hi Guys and sorry to toot my own horn at the beginning of the post, but yes, today is my birthday and I am fully relaxing at home in my lounge-wear and Smart Socks. In this post, I wanted to tackle a supposed “American-only” issue that everyone not hiding under a rock knows about–North Korea Nuclear Crisis. I use quotes because the American media has us believe that the situation is a Trump vs. Kim Jong-Un spat, however, after looking at how it originated and organically grew, it is a gigantic looming humans’ rights concerning everyone.
I am particularly glad that Russian Prime Minister Putin has stepped up to the plate and offered to meditate the talks between the two countries since UN seems to busy with something else. However, first a little background:
Past: What Started It All?
I first heard about North Korea in the mid-to-late 1990’s as a human rights’ violator. I remember having illuminating discussions about the fearful conditions North Koreans lived in and that made me so grateful that I lived in a democratic country such as the United States. On the media such as Wikipedia, we are still told “North Korea has retained an isolationist attitude towards the rest of the world. The North Korean government spreads messages and exploits its citizens through propaganda tactics. (Some) tactics of control that government officials adopt is to take outside information from other countries and manipulate the information in a way that further promotes the ruling leader Kim Jong-Un. Propaganda is spread by officials to emphasize how thankful citizens should be to live in North Korea. The North Korean media lie about other countries to promote their way of life.”
Behind this “supposed” propaganda, there have been rumors of human rights violations having no parallel in the contemporary world. Prison camps, alleged concentration camps that are used to segregate, punish, and even execute those seen as the enemies of Kim Jong-Un. In addition, these prisoners are heard to be subjected to slave labor, malnutrition, torture, human experimentation, rape and arbitrary executions.
According to Wikipedia, even today, “North Korean defectors have also provided detailed testimonies on the existence of the total control zones where abuses such as torture, starvation, rape, murder, medical experimentation, forced labor, and forced abortions have been reported. On the basis of these abuses, as well as persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, forcible transfer of populations, enforced disappearance of persons and forced starvation, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry has accused North Korea of crimes against humanity. The International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea estimates that over 10,000 people die in North Korean prison camps every year.”
Things got heated between the United States and North Korea in early 2000’s with United States President George W. Bush treating North Korea as a rogue state. It was after September 11th attacks that the talks of removing all forms of terrorism came up and Korea was right in there with Afghanistan and Iraq (I THINK there were talks on Iran as well in the media). “According to a 2004 South Korean assessment, North Korea possessed a stockpile of chemical weapons estimated to amount to 2,500–5,000 tons, including nerve, blister, blood, and vomiting agents, as well as the ability to cultivate and produce biological weapons including anthrax, smallpox, and cholera. On 9 October 2006, North Korea announced it had conducted its first nuclear weapons test.”
“In August 2009, former U.S. President Bill Clinton met with Kim Jong-il (Kim Jong-Un’s father) to secure the release of two American journalists who had been sentenced for entering the country illegally. U.S. President Barack Obama’s position towards North Korea was to resist making deals with them for the sake of defusing tension, a policy known as “strategic patience.” Tensions with South Korea and the United States increased in 2010 with the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan and North Korea’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island.”
When Kim Jong-Un was announced as the next leader of North Korea, there were media stories of him being more tyrannical. Over the following years, North Korea continued to develop its nuclear arsenal despite international condemnation. Notable tests were performed in 2013 and 2016. On 4 July 2017, North Korea successfully conducted its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Present: So How Does it Get from Bad to Worse?
As of 2015, North Korea had diplomatic relations with 166 countries and embassies in 47 countries. According to Wikipedia, owing to the human rights and political situation, the DPRK is not recognized by Argentina, Botswana, Estonia, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. This means that in September 2017, France and Estonia are the last two European countries that don’t have an official relationship with North Korea. North Korea continues to have strong ties with its socialist southeast Asian allies in Vietnam and Laos, as well as with Cambodia.
Future: What Should Happen in the Future?
According to Wikipedia, on 11 October 2008, the United States removed North Korea from its list of states that sponsor terrorism after Pyongyang agreed to cooperate on issues related to its nuclear program. However, North Korea has been re-designated as a state sponsor of terrorism by the United States under the Trump administration on 20 November 2017. Currently, the North Korean government rejects the human rights abuses claims, calling them “a smear campaign” and a “human rights racket” aimed at government change. As mentioned above, Russian Prime Minister Putin is going to mediate talks between President Trump and Kin Jong-Un. I hope they consider these following points:
Points to Note to avoid WAR:
- America has been blamed to interfere with world politics for way too long and it is time we are seen as outsiders willing to help rather than to dictate.
- North Korean government needs to be more transparent and present valid proof of their fear of being taken over or being forced to be usurped.
- ONE of these things should happen to enforce America and UN’s credibility and validity in handling this matter: Either ban North Koreans from migrating based on our fear of terrorism OR put economic sanctions. You CANNOT do both because while sanctions would cripple their economy, it will also anger North Koreans who supposedly already live in bad economic conditions. Picking one method is a gradual way to show North Koreans and Kim Jong Un that we want him to cooperate and talk.
- Having a war with North Korea will have a domino effect in the Asian (Vietnam, Cambodia, China) markets and subsequently the world markets. There is no stopping or predicting whether a misstep can trigger a World War III.
- Instead, the UN should sign a peace treaty or an agreement to monitor and subsequently eliminate nuclear warheads of the face of the world. We certainly do not need these types of weapons present OR used.