News and Tribune


April 9, 2013

BEAM: Getting to know North Korea


But that’s just it. He can start World War III. In November 2010, Jong Un’s now-deceased daddy had already gotten away with bombing the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, killing four South Koreans. Most analysts agree that earlier that same year the autocratic regime also torpedoed a SK Navy ship that cost 46 seamen their lives. 

Incidents like these can lead to far-reaching consequences. I bet no one thought back in 1914 the assassination of a Serbian Duke could lead to one of the deadliest conflicts in recorded history, claiming the lives of more than 37 million worldwide. 

In the instance of North Korea, America has started to take notice of their increased rhetoric and bellicose actions. When the US. has more than 28,000 troops in South Korea, not to mention that other bases in Japan and possibly Guam are within striking distance of the newly moved North Korean Musudan ballistic missiles, our country has every right to worry. 

Besides North Korea’s promises of imminent destruction to the west, the scary part lies in their neighbor to the north. With the Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid Treaty, China could very easily become entangled in this conflict. Even though in recent days the communist government released veiled statements that seem to condemn the hermit kingdom, you wonder how far they will go to protect a pro-Chinese buffer state from failing. Chinese troops have begun to move toward the North Korean border, some say to control the influx of refugees if hostilities do commence. But who knows their true motivations? 

So how should we as ordinary American citizens process these threats? With education. We need to understand the motivation behind North Korea and if our government is truly pursuing the best policies. 

First things first: We need to know about North Korea the country. According to a May 2006 National Geographic Society Geographic Literacy Survey, only 70 percent of the Americans asked could correctly identify North Korea on a map. In the future, check out a satellite photo of nighttime in Asia. Among the grouped specks of light, you can see a large dark area on the upper part of a pointy cape. That’s the nation threatening the U.S. with rants like “the moment of explosion is approaching fast.”

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