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If They Meet, History Must be Remembered

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William Jin, Staff Writer

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North Korea is a problem child.
As President Trump negotiates to meet with Kim Jong Un in May, he and his advisers need to keep history in mind as they negotiate issues involving the horror nuclear war.

A Country’s Troubled Past
During WWII, Japan took over the Korean peninsula in 1910. Koreans were heavily discriminated against and forced into war, labor, and sexual services.
Following Japan’s surrender in 1945, the USSR and the USA divided Korea into two zones along the 38th parallel, each developing its own government based off their influence. North Korea established the DPRK, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea while the South established a democratic government.
Tensions were high. On June 25, 1950, North Korea, backed by China and the USSR, invaded South Korea, starting the Korean War. The USA quickly sent troops for support. The battle lasted a total of three years, ending in a shaky, unofficial truce in 1953.
Since then, Kim Il Sung slowly turned North Korea into one of the most brutal dictatorships ever. He passed away at age 82 in 1994. His successor, Kim Jong Un, is a lot more prevalent in today’s news.

Repression a Way of Life
North Korea is, to this day, the most brutal recorded civilization ever created. Political prisoners are thrown in prison and labor camps with conditions comparable to concentration camps during WWII. Citizens are constantly kept under close surveillance, so even a wrong word can get a North Korean killed.
North Korea’s economy is failing, with almost all of its citizens falling below the poverty line. Propaganda and patriotism likely the only cause for morale in this desolate country. Citizens do not have access to any outside new sources, no Internet, no freedom to practice religion, televisions only broadcasting propaganda.
Kim Jong Un has made numerous ludicrous and almost childishly idiotic claims about the achievements of himself and the outside world, claiming that America is an impoverished wasteland filled with “stupid Yankees” who are jealous of North Korea and want to destroy it. Lately, North Korea has made another statement that is a cause for concern: the usage of nuclear warheads.

Worries Over the Bomb
North Korea’s history with nuclear warheads has already been a cause for concern. Reported in 2002, The Bush Administration revealed that North Korea was supporting a secret nuclear program in violation of the 1985 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, according to CNN. After a warning from the USA, North Korea still violated the treaty multiple times.
On Jan. 24, 2013, North Korea decided to fully revolt. The DPRK’s National Defense Commission announced publicly that it was going to continue testing despite, or maybe in spite of the pressure from the US, which they announce to be “the sworn enemy of the Korean people.”
On Feb. 12, the third nuclear test was carried out under Kim Jong Un. The UN ordered additional sanctions in protest of the usage of nukes. From 2013-2018, multiple nuclear tests were carried out, with the DPRK announcing the addition of The H-bomb to their arsenal and multiple threats to the U.S. with intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles that they claim will “destroy” America. Kim even claims that he has a nuclear button on his desk.
On March 8, 2018, the security chief of South Korea, Chung Eui-yong, announces publicly that Trump has accepted an invitation to meet with Kim.
This is a cause for concern. The president has stated publicly on multiple occasions that he is very strict and brash on the topic of foreign policy. Even going as far as to criticize our traditional, careful way of approaching this issue.
As stated in his book, “Crippled America,” then candidate Trump wrote, “They [the other politicians] think that successful diplomacy requires years of experience … Only then do these pin-striped bureaucrats CONSIDER taking action.”
Trump has also publicly criticized North Korea. In a 2014 tweet, he said that North Korea was the “last place on Earth I want to go to,” and when Kim launched a missile in 2017, he asked in a tweet, ”Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?”
Clearly, the president is not a fan of much diplomacy or North Korea as a whole. This is why the decision to meet with Kim is so strange and concerning.
As we all know, Trump is a big fan of the “brute force” method like the kind we witnessed in the U.S.— China trade war that is still going on, Trump has said that he would attempt to convince North Korea to disarm their nuclear arms research, but we aren’t sure if this will actually work.

Care is Needed
Trump—if he isn’t careful—could start a global catastrophe. No, this does not mean it will definitely happen, but we must be careful. North Korea does not have a history of surrendering or compromising, and even when these actions are carried through by either a country or an union, it has almost always ignored the agreements in the long run.
We must be careful. North Korea poses an enormous threat, owning one of the biggest military forces in the world, and has alliances with China, the U.S.’s biggest rival. If tackled head on by our president, the dangers would be unspeakable. Trump needs to be careful, and so do his advisers.
North Korea is a force to be taken seriously, as on the nuclear landscape, even a baby with a button is threat enough.

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