It is called the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a joke both to the idea of a democracy and a republic. North Korea, since the 1970s, has displayed little liberal governance to exhibit qualities that would be deemed appropriate for a society in the modern world. From repeated nuclear threats to firing ballistic missiles and an arbitrary misuse of power leading to the worst instances of human rights violations, North Korea is possibly one of the most dreaded countries in the world to live in today, coming second only to war-torn Syria where radical ideology has disrupted everyday life. Yet, what we see in Syria is an anomaly, but, what is happening in North Korea is the norm. The problem is severely accentuated when a situation as devastating as the prevailing conditions of North Korea are normalised and become routine to the citizen's everyday life.
Keeping this purview in mind, the UN Security Council has called for an important meeting on December 15, to deliberate on the fate and solution for the North Korean crisis. The UNSC currently headed by Japan's UN ambassador Koro Bessho has configured this setup, especially remembering that all of Kim's directed missile tests have flown dangerously close to Japanese territory, jeopardizing the country and its citizens. Alongside the meeting to deliberate upon North Korea's unfiltered use of nuclear power and constant threats to unleash more on to the world, the Council has also proposed to study the Human Rights violations that are continuing unabated in North Korean territory, a meeting that North Korea's essential friend with crucial benefits—China—has been attempting to delay without much success.
What has possibly allowed North Korea to continue this blatant violation of both Human Rights and UN sanctions has been the tacit support it has been receiving from China, who of course comes in with a different set of priorities. China's escalation to power with the manufacture of goods, technology and services in the late-20th and early-21st century overturned the Occident-Orient divide, bringing the age of modernisation to Asia. North Korea's advances are motivated by its enmity, primarily towards the Western World, which is also complemented by the idea of progressing its own domination. The Kim family and the Workers' Party of Korea has held on to the reigns of the county for the last seven decades, a grim reminder that democracy is farcical and harnessing independent thought is swiftly followed by elimination of the same. The Kim family has progressed its dynastic rule by vigilance, surveillance, meting out cruel punishment and practising extreme discrimination prevalent across the education sector and the work systems in the country.
Depending on their political association, people are quickly categorised as 'loyal', 'wavering' or 'hostile'—a marker that determines their future progress in the country. The government operates strict vigilance on every movement that a citizen makes. Religious association, political thought, recreation, dialogue—beyond the prescribed is unthinkable and the most condemnable. Despite calling itself a democracy, the government in Korea prevents every kind of freedom—freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom to practice religion. It has not allowed for any organised political opposition, independent media, free trade unions and independent civil society organisations. Recently, a video was widely circulated on Facebook, where a young North Korean girl spoke of the outright violation of basic rights practised under the Kim leadership in North Korea—they are not allowed to enlighten their minds, they cannot travel outside the country, they cannot familiarise themselves with the Western media.
There are umpteen instances of public executions, murder, enslavement, rape, torture, forced abortion and several other crimes that compromise upon the premise of humanity, democracy, freedom and independence. The UNSC meeting to resolve the North Korean crisis is essential. There are 25.37 million people living under the brutal leadership of the Kim family—a leadership that must be immediately dismantled. However, as we condemn North Korea for violating Human Rights, threatening its own citizens, and jeopardizing its neighbouring nations—we must not forget to uphold the ethics of democracy. As Russia has pointed out appropriately, the only resolution to the North Korean crisis can emanate from continuous dialogue and diplomacy. However, that is far easier said than done. 70-years of being in power with the unabashed use of violence and constant crippling of human rights cannot be undone in a single day. A nuclear war is not the solution that the world needs today. It will cause far more damage than bring in good.
Even the victorious will stand amidst rubble, destruction and dismembered bodies. The USA and North Korea entering a fierce battle will probably cause the most additional loss to Japan, whose memories of 1945 are still fresh. The harsh effects of Hiroshima-Nagasaki attacks can be traced to generations of this day, and we as a modern humanitarian society must not allow for such ruthlessness to arise again. The UN should resolve to protect those living under Nazi-like situations in North Korea and prevent the world from being eroded by another devastating nuclear war. This crisis ought to be avoided, for one and all.
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