Politics Magazine

Take A Deep Breath Regarding North Korea

Posted on the 04 April 2013 by Polliticstoday @polliticstoday

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Every now and then I like to draw inspiration for future blog posts by what my friends are discussing on social media.  At times, I might find the inspiration to be the sharing of a photo or just reading them discuss topics such as gun control or welfare.  Most of my friends only casually, if they do at all, follow what’s going on in the world but its always good to see what their two cents are.

Now of course, the new topic of conversation is centered on North Korea.  Yes, the North Korea who has threatened to send a nuclear missile at the U.S. ASAP.  Of course, the idea is legitimately terrifying, the idea of a nuclear weapon hitting an American (actually scratch that ANY) city is enough to induce an anxiety attack.  Even if you are genuinely unconcerned about North Korea, you are not any less of a person for being fearful of an attack.  It is a natural reaction.

But while most people treat North Korea as either a legitimate threat or as a complete joke, you still could gain some knowledge from learning about their situation.  To really have a grasp of the situation going on over at the other end of the Pacific Ocean, you need to learn a few things

  • First off, Kim Jong-un is the current “supreme leader” (that’s his title, seriously) of the nation.  Kim Jong-un took over the nation after the death of his father Kim Jong-il who was the son of Kim Il-Sung.  But after the death of Kim Jong-il, there was some speculation over who his successor would be.  Due to Jong-un’s relative youth (his age is estimated to be around 29 years old), it was thought that his uncle Jang Sung-taek might be so-called “man behind the curtain) as Jong-un gained experience.  In fact, some do believe that Sung-taek, along with his wife, may very well be filling that role now.  

But more relevant to that is that Jong-un needs to showcase his “strength” as a leader in the hopes that the world will take him seriously.  Remember Jong-un is the leader of a 1.2 million man army meaning that he kind of has to exhibit controversy. If North Korea is in the news, then Jong-un is basically doing his job and filling in his father’s shoes as the world’s chief agitator.  If not, then the former Jong-il inner circle could see Jong-un as weak and might stage a coup.

Another thing that must be noted is that North Korea is poor, VERY poor.  While their leader lives in luxury, their nation is bordering on famine (though not quite yet).  Its been through multiple famines in its recent history as well and America has in the past sent food aid packages to the nation.  Its also famously oppressive which clearly means that their never is a dissenting opinion against country leadership.

But the most important thing for all of you to realize is that there is no proof that North Korea can even send a warhead to America, let alone a nuclear one.  Granted intelligence isn’t perfect but I tend to trust what the world is saying in that as of now, North Korea is more of a threat to themselves than to America.

Nonetheless though, there continues to be animosity between both North and South Korea which has technically been “at war” since 1952 though an armistice in 1953 has paused any significant warfare.  As South Korea has blossomed while North Korea has been decimated, animosity towards America has only intensified.  South Korea has a capable missile program, compared to the North’s struggling one, but the so-called “demilitarized zone” has been a hot topic between the two nations since the Korean War.  The “DMZ” is basically an area of land that cuts the Korean peninsula in half and its history and current usage can best be explained here.

Yet when it comes to North Korea, it should be a threat that’s taken with a tad pinch more than a grain of salt.  They do have weapons but what you are witnessing seems to be more in line with their past history of beating the warm drums filled with propaganda.

That’s not to guarantee you that nothing happens, but always be skeptical and always be aware.

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