Potential For Disaster

North Korea: Center of Communism


North Korea, Photo courtesy of Human Rights Watch

Janet Han, Photojournalist

North Korea, the world’s most secretive region, has a long history of being shrouded in mystery. From cutting off most connections with outside developments to threatening nuclear attacks by conducting multiple missile tests, North Korea has continuously grown more and more unstable. Countries from around the world are keeping a wary look on the country, wondering if they will soon provoke a new world war.

Recently, tensions have grown, especially with the U.S., as the communist regime of North Korea celebrated the founder’s 105th birthday. They celebrated with musicians, singers, and a video simulation of attacking the United States. The video showed the American flag in tatters, following computer graphics of missiles destroying a city.

Mutual dislike is prevalent and long-standing between the United States and North Korea, with either side threatening to attack the other- but both unable to follow through. The Brookings Institution’s Pollack explains why: the U.S. has been trying to plan out a successful military assault since the end of the Korean War, but “there’s just no good way to do this, period.”

The United States cannot attack the country without North Korea in turn destroying Seoul, the capital of South Korea, because the communist country already has countless rows of artillery aimed at the city. Seoul possesses the world’s 11th largest economy, and is home to over 25 million people- and South Korea is a major American ally (Huffington Post). Meanwhile, if North Korea attacked the United States, they would swiftly meet their demise as numerous allies and the American military would not hesitate to fight back. Upon hearing the explanation of the situation, Sarah Chen (9) said with frustration that “they’re trapped in an endless stalemate.”

“they’re trapped in an endless stalemate.”

However, the two countries are engaging in a metaphorical battle regardless- North Korea’s repeated missile tests serve as a threatening warning to the U.S. and the rest of the world. Vice-Foreign Minister of North Korea, Han Song-ryol, told BBC that “we’ll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.”

Donald Trump is being anything but helpful in stabilizing the already unstable balance, with rash claims and actions that may cause a massive war to break out; in that case, there would be numerous American and South Korean casualties. When confronted by The Huffington Post, Trump has stated that “if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all that I am telling you.” The same source also revealed that Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, said he will not open talks with Kim and promised “the policy of strategic patience has ended.”
All in all, North Korea’s precariously built house of cards seems as if it may come crashing down- but any such occurrence would likely not be without enormous losses for both the U.S. and South Korea. As of all, the world should continue to monitor one of the most strictly isolated countries and do their very best to avoid major and bloody conflict.