By Sofia Weddle
North Korea has long been recognized as an at-risk country ridden with nuclear threats and corrupted propaganda. Now more than ever, the world’s superpowers are fearing the future. Is a WWIII soon to come? How damaging are North Korea’s nuclear weapons?
However, under the administration of President Trump, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un has recently agreed to halt nuclear testing. This statement is a huge stride towards world cooperation and demilitarization, but many politicians doubt its permanency. North Korea has a history of breaking alliances and concealing its actions from nations beyond its border, including South Korea. Megan McKenzie, a Junior at Glenelg, believes that there is “probably an ulterior motive behind the demilitarization, whether it is economic because they do not have enough money to fund nuclear weapons. But, I think it is also a good move for them politically, especially because many countries do not support the dictator, Kim Jong Un”. Many assume that South Korea’s government is aware of the happenings, politically and socially, occuring in North Korea, but much remains in the dark. Intel truthfully comes most from tourists, who record their travels on social media platforms, such as Youtubers Jacob Laukaitis and Louis Cole, and undercover agents, like English teacher-posed journalist Suki Kim.
Despite doubts, North Korea may truly be transforming into a more accommodating, communicative nation. On April 27th, North Korea met with South Korea during a summit in which both leaders planted a symbolic peace tree and “signed the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula”, according to CNN journalist James Griffiths. The treaty vows denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula and works to peacefully end the Korean War that has long divided Korean citizens, but, as Griffiths writes, the Declaration will not definitively ended the Korean War. Thus, a long road of mediation lies ahead not only for North and South Korea, but for every country ever threatened by or involved in the conflict.
The question remains whether or not the peace accord and denuclearization will last. Sam Cho, a Junior at Glenelg, believes that Kim Jong Un’s actions “are temporary. They may say that they are ending [nuclear testing and the Korean War] now, but you never know if the war will start up again”. For now, South Korea and the superpower nations will have to remain cooperative but defensive if Kim Jong Un’s promises are to be kept. One wrong move and the world could quite literally disappear in a thick veil of nuclear gas.