For the longest time in history, many of us have been aware of the unending rift in the Korean Peninsula. North and South Korea never really signed a peace treaty or agreement, hence they are technically still at war with each other until today. If you haven’t been living inside a hole in recent years, you are also probably aware how many times North Korea has captured the world’s attention because of its brazen acts that mostly revolves on nuclear development and testing and unending threats to everyone who will listen. As of late, it actually seemed as if the threats are finally becoming real. There is the likelihood of an impending World War III and it scared a lot of people, you have to admit that.
Are we really supposed to be scared of North Korea’s threats and start building shelters that can survive nuclear attacks? Well, it is too early to tell now as the fire has seemed to die down since the last time they sent missiles flying past Japan. The US seems really upset at North Korea and we all know Trump is no man of words, I mean not good with words. The obvious conflict between the US and Russia is also an issue somewhere in this equation. Then, let’s not ignore the global power that is China, a known ally of North Korea. Will we really be seeing real worldwide-scale war for real or can diplomacy still put out the fire, so we can all pretend all these talks of nuclear war and more wars never really happened?
China, traditionally North Korea’s most faithful patron, fears an influx of refugees if war comes, and looks with distrust at our military alliance with South Korea and Japan. The latter, committed to “defensive” weapons since its defeat in 1945 and the elimination of atomic warfare as the world’s only victim of nuclear attacks, has historical, geographical and cultural reasons for fearing military uses of atomic power — not to mention concern about North Korean test missiles recently shooting over its territory.
Russia has historical distrust of China and Japan, and under Putin has revived its own nationalistic ambitions. As for America, much is written of our isolationism before World War II, the impact it had on events leading to that war and what many see as the hazards of “America-first” policies now. Meanwhile, North Korea’s diplomats and state-controlled media delight in portraying President Donald Trump as the true warmonger.
In short, it’s a frightening but exciting time to engage in a study of global affairs. Moreover, it’s our duty as educators to do so.
There is so much political drama going on today it is hard to keep up anymore or even choose sides if you have to. Of course, we all don’t want a massive disaster in our midst if it can be presented but we don’t really know what is going inside the crazy mind of Kim Jong-un, the current supreme leader of the land and the third-generation leader of the Kim family of North Korea. He may be hard to understand and misunderstood most of the time but world leaders of today will generally strive for peace at all cost for the benefit of everyone on the planet even if it means attempting to make a deal with him. We will all lose if World War III breaks loose. Even the isolated wars and political conflicts in certain areas are hard as they are, so we won’t really be aspiring for something terribly destructive.
“George W Bush’s ascension to president in 2001 produced a declaration from his advisers that the 1994 agreement was dead in the water. (Thus)
in December 2002, the DPRK expelled the IAEA inspectors, restarted the Yongbyon reactor and withdrew from the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“Bush meanwhile, declared his intention of dealing with North Korea after Iraq.
“In spring 2003 the North made another offer to the US: it would scrap its nuclear development if the US would normalise relations and provide basic security guarantees.
“Six years later, in 2009, substantive talks involving Russia and China as well as Japan, the US and both Koreas had goals which included the normalising of diplomatic relations, an end to trade sanctions and acknowledgement of the North’s right to use nuclear energy.
“But these talks collapsed after both the US and the ROK rejected the North’s gradual dismantling of its nuclear weapons.
Well, North Korea’s aggression to most Western nations may not be baseless after all. Yet, as spectators of this risky drama should bear in mind we are clueless about all the details so we can’t really tell what’s real and what’s not. What we just know is that there is a threat, from where, it’s quite misleading, but it can possibly make life more difficult for all of us if not stopped before the fire even fans out. We can’t risk losing the highly organized world order we have painstakingly built over the years because of some careless remarks and mistakes that could’ve been easily prevented with a little diplomacy.