Implications of North Korean Nuclear Weapons Test

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David Frederick  Journal Staff

The situation in North Korea is something of a unique mess.  The identity of North Korea has manifested itself in the form of pop culture parodies of dictators Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un.  Not to mention the fact that their media has recently picked up stories from The Onion (eg: Kim Jong Un being voted the most handsome and desirable man) as being factual. Moreover, a larger reality looms — the bizarre laughs in concert with a morbid reality that is stranger (and crueler) than fiction.

In the past couple of decades, the nuclear program of North Korea has been under scrutiny and rightfully so.  In laymen’s terms, as a citizen of the world, I understand the benefits that a group could get from nuclear power, but the powers that are in North Korea do not wish to use said power to advance mankind.

The government wants to use it for Ragnarök, pure and utter mass destruction. They want to commit mass genocide against South Korea.  Earlier this week, during a debate at the UN Conference on Disarmament, North Korea issued a threat towards South Korea: that they’ll be facing a “final destruction.”  This comes mere days after the nuclear test near the underground Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

I’m not trying to generalize or sensationalize a story so that it may fit into an article for my own self-satisfaction or to even make my self a “politically aware” student.  I am venting my frustration with the fact this is a situation that the free world will look back at and ponder how they could have stopped it from happening.  I’m talking about a place where the de facto leader rules with an iron fist. Whether that is to make their own citizens defecate on their lawn, ban smoking, or kidnap filmmakers to create his own monster film.

If he wanted a monster film, then he should have just aim the focus of the camera towards the horror he was unleashing to his own kin.  For example, forcibly enacting a food rationing system that in actuality has starved his people and not to mention the creation of alleged work camps that appear to be eerily similar to concentration camps.  Couple that with the illusive nature and mystery of North Korea, it truly is another world.

North Korean diplomat Jon Yong Ryong told those in attendance at the UN conference that, “As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea’s erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction” and that if the U.S. should take action “Pyongyang would be left with no option but to take the second and third stronger steps in succession.”

The universal response to this statement has been extremely negative, including from North Korea supporter’s China. The North Korean ambassador was summoned to Beijing, and China’s official statement proclaimed that they were  “strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed” to the test and pleaded North Korea to “stop any rhetoric or acts that could worsen situations and return to the right course of dialogue and consultation as soon as possible”.

Clearly, I am opposed to this because the only end game from North Korean nuclear power is destruction and I don’t mean the “you break a few eggs to make an omelet” type, I am talking about blind, unbridled destruction.  I am not trying to be snarky when I say that if you support North Korean nuclear power, then you support death.  Trust me, I’m no bleeding heart, but when you look at the facts, you really have to wonder what the “positives” are.  Remember, this is history happening now and you can either be a part of it or ponder over how it could have been prevented.

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Gareth Jones  Asst. Int’l Editor

“As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea’s erratic behavior will only herald its final destruction.”

So says Jon Yong Ryong, North Korean diplomat and representative at the most recent of hundreds of United Nations Nuclear Disarmament conferences, the latest of which was held in Geneva over the weekend.

In this instance one must assume that South Korea is the new born puppy, making North Korea the tiger. Mr. Ryong has likely not heard the other saying — about paper tigers in Asia. The expression is in reference to economic prowess and, furthermore, is referencing mostly China, and Japan to an extent, the countries with the second and third largest GDP in the world, respectively. For the curious, North Korea comes in 126 out of roughly 200.

Not awful, in fact surprisingly high considering their judicial situation, or perhaps not surprising at all depending on how you look at it. In a country where freedom is nonexistent, what else are people doing all day but making exports for their Dear Leader? In the vein of surprises, further consider that North Korea actually boasts the tenth largest navy in the world. Potentially troubling news for South Korea if Mr. Ryong’s warning is to be taken at all seriously.

However, perhaps because of this, South Korea is currently sitting on the fourth largest navy in the world behind the world’s true regional powers: Russia, China, and the United States, in that order. So who is the real tiger in that relationship? And more importantly, whom do they think they’re kidding?

With a massive spy network especially in relation to its size, you can be sure the North Koreans are well aware of exactly what they’re up against. (For a fascinating read, Google The Economist article on how North Korean diplomats [spies] are the single largest importer of counterfeit American $100, bills made to such exact specifications they somehow become integrally more legitimate than their authentic counterparts and cause massive malfunctions when they eventually turn up in banks money counting machines.)

And while we’re at it: “erratic behavior?” How the other diplomats managed to keep straight faces when Mr. Ryong laid that one on them is beyond my diplomatic ability to even understand. The irony is deep with such an accusation, coming from the representative of a regime that arbitrarily initiates nuclear tests against the wishes of literally the rest of the world. Specifically China, North Korea’s only real ally whose border is a mere few hundred miles from where a suspected nuclear test triggered a 5.1 level earthquake last week.

Giving the North Korean leadership enough credit to recognize the hypocrisy and unnecessary sensationalism behind Mr. Ryong’s statement is tempting but dangerous. For all we know Kim Jong-Un, or the group of military leaders who probably run the show in the background, truly believe in the righteous tone of that statement. But probably not, you can’t be that ignorant and run a country, can you? The only alternative explanation for this diplomatic faux pas is that they’re bluffing. Hopefully, probably this is the case. To what end, only the Supreme Leader can say.

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