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368. North Korea’s Provocation: What Should the World Do?

Kim, Eun-yul 기자2017.11.15 00:40:43

      The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) has been causing fear internationally by experimenting with nuclear devices and launching various missiles. Our society was already paying huge attention to North Korea’s moves when in August of this year, a missile launched by North Korea flew over Japan and landed near Guam. In this article, readers will find the timeline of these experiments, why North Korea is so obsessed with developing nuclear weapons, and furthermore, how the international society should react.


North Korea’s Nuclear Experiment and the Launch of Missiles

      The first to sixth nuclear test were carried out by North Korea in 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016 (January and September) and 2017 (September), becoming stronger each time. The latest experiment was on September 3 2017. North Korea announced that they had successfully made a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile. This bomb is a strategic nuclear weapon with the power to wipe out a whole city. In addition, North Korea has performed many missile launch experiments, as can be seen on the illustration below. Among those, the most threatening were the last two experiments, which flew past Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean. Previous missiles had the range to reach Hawaii and Alaska, but this new missile can   hit Chicago. This means that the North Korea can now engage in a standoff attack if they want to.

      This success means a lot to North Korea. Their success will give them more power regarding international relationships. Now, their survival is guaranteed. They are no longer a subject to restrictions but a country with heightened power. This power will help them negotiate. They do not have to do what America tells them to do.

Responses from Other Nations

      Various countries all around the world are reacting differently.  South Korea is considering the placement of additional THAAD missile systems and practicing united military operations with America. However, president Moon has also announced that South Korea is to give North Korea 8 million dollars worth of humanitarian aid, and the public is uneasy with this decision. In contrast, the American government has announced that they will strengthen restrictions on North Korea, saying that they will stop trading with countries that trade with North Korea. Japan is requesting a UN security council meeting and asking their people to evacuate from dangerous regions. On the other hand, China, which has a large responsibility as the biggest trading partner with North Korea, is taking a passive route. Media in China are focusing more on South Korea’s and America’s response, rather than their own. In addition, they are paying more attention on the increased military forces of South Korea and America. In America, there has been a policy of ignoring North Korea as a means of trying to solve this problem. The previous Secretary of State, Colin Powell, said, “Let’s not go crazy every time they shoot missiles. Start ignoring them and maybe you can find a different way to solve this. It would probably drive them crazy if we ignored one of their launches and after the media interest went away, it would die down.” He also said that if North Korea uses nuclear weapon, they would be committing suicide. 


       North Korea’s provocation might lead to war. When such war occurs, both sides will use their human and material resources, regardless of whether they win or lose.  It will be best to avoid an exhaustive war, which neither side can  really win. For this reason, countries that have close relations with North Korea, such as China and Russia, should try to persuade North Korea. In addition, we should prepare for the possibility of war.

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