Staff Editorial 5/11 Citizens rightfully skeptical of North Korean claims to denuclearize

Two weeks ago, history was made when a meeting between North and South Korea, two countries which have been in armistice since the 1950’s, took place to discuss ending the war that has lasted over half a century. 

Representatives from each country met with the United States’ newest cabinet member, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The two countries seem closer than ever to coming to an agreement that North and South Korea– as well as the United States and United Nations– could agree with. 

This came after Russia failed to react to the United States missile strikes on Syria, causing panic from the North Korean government. If its strongest ally, Russia, would not help it in the scenario that the United States were to become aggressive, then who would? China? Not likely, considering its economy is contingent on the United States. 

The ultimate resolution of these accords seems to be the end of the Korean War, causing thousands to die as a result of continuous tension in the peninsula. 

Meetings between the United States and North Korea have also sparked discussion of denuclearization for North Korea in exchange for a non-aggression agreement. This could change the United States’ affairs in Asia for years to come, and if this does happen, President Donald Trump will surely tweet about how he has resolved this 65-year-old conflict. 

However, this is not the first time North Korea has promised to denuclearize. They have signed four agreements in the past: one with South Korea, two with the United States, and one with the United States, the Russian Federation, Japan, South Korea and Japan. 

The elephant in the room remains; we find these remarks by North Korea to be unrealistic. Many doubt Kim Jong Un will fulfill his promise. 

Instead it is believed that he will continue with his nuclear programs in secret, yet simply stop testing them or making it obvious that they are in possession. 

There are many reasons that Kim Jong Un will not hand over his nuclear weapons, despite signing the treaty. Kim Jong Un is a member of the Workers Party, which focuses on nationalism, Marxism-Leninism and military strength from an authoritarian government. All of which support nuclear arsenals and the growth of North Korea into a large military power.

In fact, in 2012 North Korea amended its constitution to explicitly state that it is a “nuclear armed state.” Daniel Pinkston, a professor at Troy University in South Korea, made the analogy that North Korea abandoning their nuclear weapons would be like, “the Pope abandoning Jesus Christ.” Clearly, something so engrained into the North Korea is not going to change now. 

Belligerents would argue that a communist country making the majority of its money from work camps and the sale of opioids should be destroyed, and the U.S. military should take immediate aggressive actions against North Korea.

Others would say to just appease them; give them a chance to prove that this time could be different, and remove many of the sanctions that the United States has against them in order to convert the country’s economy to much more moral forms of income. 

The best course of action, however, would be to draw a clear line with North Korea, outlining specific ways that it can slowly remove sanctions.  Whether it be by removing nuclear weapons, moving towards a western democratic society or receiving military occupation from the United States. 

This would be most effective because the United States has the upperhand in all talks with Kim Jong Un. He has few allies, few resources, and his economy is based on a house of cards that could fall at any second. 

If the Koreans were to go to conflict and come out on bottom, Kim Jong Un would lose all backing. His military and people would quickly turn against him.