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Line in the Sand: Tensions between North Korea and the US Rise

Lauren Seale

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As many of you know, the United States has had a “rocky” past with North Korea (to say the least). Korea split into North and South Korea following World War II, originally as a temporary “fix” by the United Nations. However, this division eventually became rather permanent at the 38th parallel as the North fell to Russia’s influence. North Korea became a communist nation, and the United States (with the goal of stopping the spread of communism) offered aid to South Korea in their fight against the North, known as the Korean War. Eventually, the 38th parallel became known as the “demilitarized zone,” or DMZ, in 1953 when an armistice was signed. However, no peace treaty was, or has been, signed. That means that technically, the war is still going on. Since then, the United States has never recognized North Korea diplomatically, and there has continued to be an ongoing tension between the two countries.

 

Now, in 2017, these tensions seem to be intensifying again. If you have been following the news at all lately, I’m sure you have heard about North Korea’s missile test launches and their threats of nuclear bombs. From February 12th of this year to August 29th, North Korea has launched 14 missiles. Recently, on September 3rd, they fired one that caused a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. These missile launches seem to be direct threats towards the United States, and that is how President Trump and our Department of Defense is interpreting it.

 

In the recent past, the United States has attempted to solve these problems with North Korea diplomatically, not through violence and warfare. However, on August 30th, President Trump tweeted the following: “The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!” This tweet has made people wonder if that means that we have run out of diplomatic solutions; however, James Mattis (the current United States Secretary of Defense) assures the public that there are always more diplomatic solutions. One of these possible fixes is found through sanctions. The United States is trying to get China to cut off their exports of oil and other fuels to North Korea in the hopes of weakening the country and stopping their threatening behavior.

 

President Trump has also said in the past that he would be willing to meet with Kim Jong Un, the Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the supreme leader of North Korea. Yet, this meeting will not be able to take place until certain criteria, such as more cooperation from North Korea concerning their missile launches and tests, are met. North Korea does not seem to want to cooperate, and their actions do not reflect those of a country willing to negotiate. As of right now, North Korea is a major concern for our nation’s national security. Hopefully, our differences will be able to be resolved peacefully through sanctions and negotiation. However, the threat of another war, or rather the continuation of one that never truly ended, is still looming in the back of many’s minds. If this tension does erupt into war, that brings forth another question concerning our country today: should women be able to be drafted? That question will be discussed in greater detail next week.

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The student news site of Rocky Mount Academy in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
Line in the Sand: Tensions between North Korea and the US Rise