Jacob Yu The Science Academy STEM Magnet 7th Grade
North Korea and South Korea have been divided for seventy three years with the bitter rivalry stemming all the way back to the Korean war. In 1950, when Syngman Rhee boasted that the South was far superior than the North, the statement triggered Kim Il Sung to send his army to the South in Soviet military vehicles to retaliate. In turn, President Truman sent aid in order to prevent the full capture of South Korea. Ever since, there has been nothing but war and despair between the two halves of the peninsula. Recently, however, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has issued a statement claiming a desire to dismantle his nuclear weapons program in an attempt to try and make peace with his Southern counterpart. Although the hopeful might be inclined to believe Kim, others disagree and see this as a PR stunt.
A handful of people believe that Kim Jong Un has abandoned his old ways and is trying to find a way to resolve the huge amount of tension between NK and the rest of the world. Kim declared that he would try shut down the main North Korean nuclear testing site as well as limit the amount of nuclear missiles being produced, which is still in progress. The two Koreas have also vowed that they would be working towards some type of denuclearization. Although Kim has been declaring the abandonment of his nuclear projects, many approach his declaration with skepticism.
Kim’s sudden declaration of peace is extremely suspicious. The North and South are not allies and have been at constant warfare and political upset for a long time. Further, with dictator Kim Jong Un at the helm, North Korea is not silent about its resentment toward the United States and South Korea. On the New Year’s day speech, Kim has commented, “The entire United States are within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk. This is reality, not a threat.” He has also threatened to send a fire attack on the South. Although Kim has met? with South Korean president Moon Jae In, this does not show the true side of Kim. How can one ignore his countless amounts of threats as well as weapons built? However, could Kim have serious and sincere passion to work his way into achieving peace or even reunification with South Korea?
Given his past behavior, it would be naive to think that Kim has no alternative agenda to his peace talk. In the article, “Is Kim Jong Un for real?”, Jamie Tarabay (senior producer of CNN) states, “Some longtime North Korea watchers harbor significant doubts that there could have been any real transformation of the man who just under a year ago spoke of intercontinental ballistic missiles that could reach the US mainland as a ‘gift package to the Yankees.’ ’’ how could a man so violent and angry like that be working towards peace after recently having a history of these types of threats. North Korea lied to the people and want people to believe that he is trying to work towards denuclearization. Kim may be using this as a distraction from whatever else he is doing behind South Korea’s and America’s backs. Certain people agree that this may be just a stunt in order to distract the world from an action that Kim may be plotting in his communist country. Kim’s declaration is also conveniently timed, as US-NK tension has been at an all-time high.
This sudden change of attitude also does not justify the atrocity committed by Kim in the past. He still is a dangerous figure who has executed his uncle by throwing him into a pit full of hungry dogs, punished a soccer team for underperforming in the East Asian Football Cup, and poisoned his own brother. Kim Jong Un is also known for his hatred of South Korea. They have propaganda posters of Southern soldiers killing North Koreans, painting Southerners as demons. There is even a museum dedicated to fake atrocities committed by the South Koreans in order to push Kim’s propaganda. Trusting that Kim Jong Un would immediately just drop his weapons is not a guarantee. It is more likely that North Korea will abuse the trust that South Korea has bestowed upon it. In addition, North Korea’s definition of “denuclearization” is different from that of President Moon Jae In. North Korea explains how they would consider denuclearization in a few years. They would not take action for few years and even if they do, it would be very minor. Moon Jae In states that he believes that Kim would stop and halt his regime and try to denuclearize completely. The South Korean President thinks that North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons completely. Although most people would assume immediate denuclearization, North Korea explains that they would only consider instead of completely abandoning weapons. Although on the outside they want peace and change, on the inside they are just doing that as a publicity stunt. Their intentions, if you look any further, are different from appearances.
<Jacob Yu The Science Academy STEM Magnet 7th Grade