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The problem with peace in North Korea

May 3, 2018

 

IN OUR OPINION

 

Early April 26, the world witnessed a spectacle many thought would never come: a peace meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in.

 

The historic summit started with the two leaders shaking and holding hands in the demilitarized zone that separates the countries. They discussed the ideas and processes of ending the Korean War (which, yes, is still ongoing) and denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. This meeting is an enormous step towards starting peace talks and reunifying Korea.

 

Most of the diplomacy work can be contributed to South Korean efforts to work with their Northern counterparts, but as the talks move forward, the spotlight will shine on the United States and how they handle the tense relationship with the rogue nation-state.

 

In the long history of the Korean War, there has never been such a great or precarious position for a chance for it to finally end. Here at The Tech Talk, we hope the talks finally solve one of the world’s greatest crises, but we also acknowledge a few loose stones on the path to peace.

 

The greatest of these issues is that of human rights violations by the Kim regimes over the past decades. For as long as North Korea has been a dictatorship, there have been rumors of labor camps and extreme punishments. Citizens of the country have been starving and distitute for the betterment of the high ranking officials that rule them. If we are to move towards peace, we must not forget the crimes of the past. Those who have taken advantage of their people should stand trial for the crimes they have committed.

 

The second threat to peace talks is the state of relations between the United States and North Korea. As many can guess, our president’s chaotic nature can be seen as a threat to North Korea and they demand to know they are safe from U.S. attacks if they are to give up their nuclear weapons programs. Beyond that, the U.S. has repeatedly pushed for denuclearization only to have it blow up in its face as the tensions detract from the peace process. We believe the U.S. should take steps to ensure the process of denuclearization is beneficial to both countries and holds nations accountable for breaking with the deal.

 

The final threat is a lack of clear vision for the future. This meeting, while very historic, did not set in motion any specific plans for the goals agreed upon. North and South Korea have agreed to end the Korean War at many points in the past, but all of those amounted to nothing. If peace talks are to start, there must be a specific plan towards the goals of unity and safety. These talks are fragile and should be handled with care and forethought.

 

The path to progress is long and winding, but this meeting was a good start. Maybe, by next year, there will be a substantial amount of moving forward. But until these problems are addressed  nothing will change on the Korean Peninsula.

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