North Korea, officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, with its capital Pyongyang is a country in East Asia constituting the Northern part of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea has recently improved its nuclear capability in 2017 which created the atmosphere of tension and terror against the global peace regime. It has been threatening US and neighbouring South Korea by successfully conducting Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) tests. The former US President George W Bush has called North Korea a country with “the crossroads of radicalism and technology”. He pointed out that the cold war confrontation still exists between North Korea and some of its neighbours. The reason for this is country’s governance and inclination of carrying out nuclear attacks on any country that opposes it. Usually the governance in Communist countries is one party rule, but in North Korea, it is a dynasty rule of a royal family The Kim dynasty. Apart from this, North Korea has always believed that they have a power of nuclear weapons and missiles, which can unite Korean Peninsula on its own terms. The current North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has fast-tracked his country’s rush towards nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles.
At least 50 per cent of North Koreans live in extreme poverty, homes are still heated by obsolete technology like fireplaces, many homes even lack flush toilets, and most have access to electricity for just a few hours per day. This is just a tip of the iceberg – the condition of North Korea is worst than what eyes can see North Korea is an atheist state. Christians, and for that matter people of any faith must remain hidden. They are not allowed to have faith in any God or religion and should only pay their homage to the Kim dynasty. Anybody who is seeing practising any religion is strictly punished or sometimes even sentenced to death The Christians in North Korea meet in secret, by usually cramming in small, bedroom-sized houses in populated areas, so that they are not identifiable: They bury or hide their Bible, and take it out only in darkness and read it with fear of being caught in their hearts. The citizens of North Korea are required by law to prominently display and pay their regards to King John Un and his ancestors. Their administration mandates its citizens to memorise more than 100 pages of ideological documents, poems and praises that sing the glory of Kim dynasty. Television sets in North Korea only receive government stations signals, radio also has one dedicated government-run station with outside radio of Internet is strictly supervised and managed by the government and satellites and phones have a very limited usage. All this has severely damaged country’s intellectual, economical, talent and philosophical growth. While many countries have tried their best to get some negotiation done with North Korea, the country is hell bent on administering their country in their own way. The United States has even pursued diplomacy with North Korea despite Trump’s rejection, but North Korea rejected it. An official from their country was heard quoting, “before we can engage in diplomacy with the Trump administration, we want to send a clear message that the DPRK has a reliable defensive and offensive capability to counter any aggression from the United States”
People of North Korea are faced with many challenges that have severely damaged country’s intellectual, economical and philosophical growth. These challenges include
(i) No Freedom of Movement: Citizens of this country cannot move out of their country without due permission. They cannot even move freely within their own country. The regime has also forcibly relocated hundreds of thousands of North Koreans to less favourable parts of the country as a form of punishment and political persecution.
(ii) No Freedom of Speech: There are no second thoughts on knowing that there is no free media/press in North Korea. People are not allowed to rebel or speak against their country or king.
(iii) No Food Surplus: North Korea has failed miserably in reforming its agricultural policies, which, combined with adverse climatic conditions and environmental mismanagement, made matters worse for their land. In the wake of this, North Koreans have faced food shortage since 1990s.
The relationship between North Korea and United States has always been a ruffled one. The ties between both the nations are hostile and go worsened primarily during the Korean War. This relationship has largely been defined by North Korea’s six tests of nuclear weapons, and its long-range missiles, and its ongoing threats to strike the United States and South Korea with nuclear weapons and conventional forces. During his presidency, George W Bush referred to North Korea as part of “the Axis of Evil” because of the threat of its nuclear capabilities. Recently, the reports began circulating that North Korea was poised to carry out an underground nuclear weapon test. Meanwhile, US military announced that it had officially begun the deployment of the THAAD anti-ballistic missile defence system in South Korea All such developments have further strained the relationship between the two and resulted in the imposition several sanctions on it by US. The entire world community is insisting on pacifying the heated relationship between the two but the further course of action will depend on the mutual understanding of both the countries.
Military demarcation line within the 4-km-wide demilitarised zone has separated North from South Korea since 1953; periodic incidents with North Korea in the Yellow Sea over the Northern Limit Line, which South Korea claims as a maritime boundary; South Korea and Japan claim Liancourt Rocks, occupied by South Korea since 1954. During the Cold War, North Korea was backed by the Soviet Union, China and other communist states, and South Korea was backed by the United States and its allies. In Seoul, South Korea, last year, broadcasters reported that an earthquake has been caused by the North’s nuclear testing, which further worsened the situation. Amid the heated relationship between US and North Korea, the latter has shown interest in improving its diplomatic ties with South Korea by participating in the Winter Olympic Games to be held there.
United Nations has directly criticised North Korea against its use of nuclear weapons and the way it is dealing with its citizens. The United Nations Security Council has adopted eight major sanctions resolutions on North Korea in response to the country’s nuclear and missile activities since 2006. Each resolution condemns North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities and calls on North Korea to stop its illegal activities, which violates all previous UN Security Council resolutions.
North Korea and India has always been in business trade relationship. India is one of North Korea’s biggest trade partner and also provides food aid. At the same time, India has also been a critic of North Korea’s nuclear proliferation and has considered its nuclear programme as a threat to regional security. Therefore, India also supports UN resolution and military operations against North Korea during the Korean War. As the threat of North Korean nuclear programme is rising, both India and Japan pledged to work together to deal with the current serious situation. They called on international community to rigorously and fully implement relevant UNSC resolutions to maximise pressure on North Korea. In accordance with the principle of peaceful coexistence, India has decided to discontinue its diplomatic ties with North Korea including banning of trade links in food items medicines.
Let us close by saying that the problem of North Korea is huge. The country and its citizens are ruined by their own strict laws and all the nations, together, must do everything which is not just in their capabilities, but rather go an extra mile to ensure that the condition of the country returns back to normalcy.