Friday, 8 March 2013

North Korea

North Korea, perhaps, has a reputation in the west. It wants to create nuclear weapons, having only just yesterday declared that it has a right to a preemptive nuclear strike against its enemies, which are primarily the US and South Korea. This unpopularity among pretty much every nation caused the UN to pass sanctions that imposed harsh economic penalties upon the country, primarily because of their nuclear weapons test.

Yet we must remember that North Korea is a people who have been oppressed and manipulated by the few, who claim to be acting in their interests of the many. The huge food shortages, and the constant policing of opinions and the press have led to life in the country becoming one big play where the people have to play the characters that the government give them. Any sanctions need to be carefully accessed to make sure that they do not hurt the people, but instead punish those who are in power.

Take China, for example, who is one of the few allies that North Korea has, although that label is becoming more and more inaccurate. They supply a huge amount of the food that the population in North Korea lives off, meaning that they are largely responsible for keeping the people alive. Many have pressured them to end this donation of food aid, but that would simply result in mass starvation of a people who are largely not at fault. It might stop the nuclear development, but means should not justified by the ends.

I do not know how to stop North Korea from developing nuclear weapons, but I know that it is not the people who are doing it; it is the large and powerful government who do not allow dissent. It would easier, much easier, if North Korea was able to get back to the negotiating table rather than pointlessly refusing. Therefore, we need to give them something that is worth negotiating for, and it has to be done with the support of China.

Food aid has to be continued from China, but other economic trade does not. All ties should be cut. accept the most essential, food, therefore paralyzing the North Korean economy. They would literally be able to do nothing accept feed the people. The UN is working to do this, to a degree, at the moment, and their work is incredibly commendable, and something that we should get behind more often.

We must all remember, however, the oppression of the regime, and how sanctions must not affect the innocent.

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