In the last few weeks the United States government has received multiple threats from North Korea involving nuclear attacks on major U.S. cities. These threats come from the newly appointed dictator of North Korea Kim Jung-un (30 years old), who was recently appointed after the death of the previous dictator (his father). In order for the U.S. to maintain a healthy relationship with North Korea, several measures should be taken. First, the U.S. should work with the forces influencing North Korea, such as China, to communicate with them in a non-conflicting manner. Also, the United States has an obligation to provide aid to the people of North Korea.
Working with influential forces on North Korea will help maintain beneficial relationships between our two countries. China is pressuring North Korea, for reasons benefitting only itself. If we work with China, our nations combined could come to an agreement on the messages we are sending North Korea. As the Council on Foreign Relations states, “China is North Korea’s most important ally, biggest trading partner, and main source of food, arms, and fuel.” For this reason, combining our efforts would allow our countries to send non-conflicting messages to Korea that would be much more likely to have an impact on their actions. The Council goes on to say, “China has helped sustain what is now Kim Jong-un’s regime, and has historically opposed harsh international economic sanctions in the hope of avoiding regime collapse and an uncontrolled influx of refugees across its eight hundred-mile border with North Korea.” Due to this, China is opposed to the idea of threatening the U.S. By working twith other countries that North Korea does not despise, we will be able to indirectly talk to North Korea without them thinking we are trying to influence them for our own reasons.
Secondly, the United States has an obligation to help countries in need. The people of North Korea live in poor conditions and are in great need of aid, but the communist government of North Korea is opposed to any means of helping their people that would cause them to rebel against their government. The United States previously has supplied North Korea with aid.
The main reason North Korea is threatening the U.S. is to put on a show for their own people that says we are the bad guys and they should not want to be like the United States or adopt our form of government, so that the dictator can keep absolute power. A solution to this is giving aid to North Korea from an international organization such as the United Nations, so the North Korean government does not feel threatened.
All in all, the people of North Korea live in harsh conditions and the best possible solution to their problems would be the introduction of democracy to their country. Unfortunately, that seems to be a solution that currently is not feasible without starting a war with potentially devastating results. In the meantime, we can maintain a healthy relationship by following the ideas stated above. I also believe that we should try to have peace talks with the North Koreans, and that these would be the first step among many on the road to a brighter future between us.
Daniel Wiest is a freshman at Homer High School. He enjoys snowboarding in the winter and playing sports in the summer.