North Korea Due to Its Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

While the dictators of Europe often get the most attention, the Kim family has actually been far more successful in terms of maintaining power, to the point that it has not only managed to exist well into the twenty-first century, but it has also managed to develop its own nuclear weapon program.

The existence of North Korea's nuclear weapon program is one of the reasons for the country's extremely serious economic woes, because its desire to expand its weapons programs has led Western countries to impose increasingly harsh sanctions (Kim & Chang 1). However, while these recent sanctions have become more biting and precisely targeted in order to impose hardship on particular members of the regime, it is also important to note that the United States has imposed economic sanctions on North Korea consistently since the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. This means that at no point in the country's history has it even been free from economic sanctions, a fact that helps partially explain both the regime's animosity to the West and the continued difficulty that the regime has had in maintaining a stable, productive economy.

However, while the United States and its allies have made it difficult for North Korea to exercise certain options in improving its economy and the welfare of its citizens, it would be naive to blame the poverty and hardship faced by regular North Koreans on the United States, because no amount of sanctions could top the kind of repression the North Korean government engages in itself. As mentioned above, religious practice is entirely circumscribed within the context of the state's control. On top of this, the government has been careful to quash any signs of internal dissent. For example, while "North Korea has not been without dissent, both overt -- food riots in Hamhung and Sinuiju, prison riots, suspected coup attempts in 1970, 1992, 1995, and 1998 -- and covert -- including political satire and listening to short wave radio," the regime has always succeeded in repressing this dissent, often through the use of violence, including slave labor, torture, and summary executions (French 273).

As a result, North Korea has had to maintain an image of the West as their internal ally in order to continue justifying its treatment of its own people. Even its nuclear weapons program does not seem aimed at actually using it so much as it for forcing Western powers like the United States into a better negotiating position. Even though North Korea's ideology is based on an idea of complete self-sufficiency, in reality the country has to rely on food and economic aid from a number of other countries, which has at times included the United States (Kim & Chang 131). This reality has presented successive Kim regimes with fairly few options when it comes to dealing with other countries, because they have had to maintain a posture of belligerence in order to pacify and repress their own population while at the same time attempting to secure assistance from the very countries they have been challenging.

Over the last two decades the nuclear weapons program has become the central bargaining chip in this process of international negotiation, as Western powers promise more aid in response for North Korea's willingness to abandon or halt its nuclear weapons program (Kim & Chang 132). However, these negotiations have only had limited success, because it seems as if North Korea is willing to restart its nuclear program once it has secured the temporary assistance it requires. Furthermore, North Korea has frequently shown a willingness to redirect aid aimed at the general population towards its military, so that only the military benefits from these international diplomatic transactions (CIA.gov). This is on top of the fact that North Korea already spends large sums on its military, which includes roughly 13 million male and female soldiers available at any given time (CIA.gov).

Because North Korea spends so much on its military on top of having a poor climate and extreme political isolation, management of the economy has proved extremely difficult. Crop failures are frequent as the entire food system is extremely unstable, and because the economy is so closed off from the rest of the world, it undergoes frequent shocks and upsets without the ability to distribute these upsets across a larger system (CIA.gov). Furthermore, because the government attempts to maintain strict control over the flow and sale of goods, it has ended up inhibiting many local economies that might have sprung up otherwise. While it has taken steps to liberalize its economy by allowing small private farms and farmers markets, these experiments have been experimental and small scale, and thus have not yet contributed to the country's economic well-being (CIA.gov).

In recent years the government of North Korea has gradually opened up its borders to tourists and journalists in a sign that it might be attempting to integrate itself with the modern world, but this opening up has not meant that the regime is any less repressive, or is any less intent on developing nuclear weapons. Understanding the historical, political, and economic context of North Korea suggests that this process of opening up is an important shift in policy, but it will only be meaningful if some progress can be made to move beyond the decades old conflict between North Korea and the West. In particular, it seems as if the only real hope for North Korea to expand its economy to the point that it can actually provide for its population is for it to give up its nuclear weapons program, because this program represents the primary hurdle to expanded aid. While this does not seem likely any time soon, over time as the regime finds it increasingly harder to maintain its grip on power in the face of economic woes and the increased desire for democracy that comes from new technologies like the internet one can presume that North Korea will eventually be forced to come to some kind of understanding with the West. Ideally, this understanding would be based on mutual assistance and a proactive desire to improve the lot of everyday North Koreans, rather than in response to the collapse of the regime or a reopening of hostilities on the peninsula. While the future of North Korea remains uncertain, a look at the country's various political, economic, and demographic factors help one understand the forces that have shaped the development of North Korea all the way up to the present day.

Works Cited

Armstrong,, Charles. "Trends in the Study of North Korea." The Journal of Asian Studies 70.2

(2011): 357-71.

Cia.gov. "CIA - the World Factbook - North Korea." 2013. Web. 7 May 2013.

.

French, Paul. North Korea. London: Zed Books, 2005. Print.

Havet, Etienne and Lucas Gaudreau. Without freedom of religion or belief in North Korea.

Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers, 2010. Print.

Kim, Doo-Sub. "The Population of North Korea." Pacific Affairs 69.1 (1996): 120-1.

Kim, Suk H. And Semoon Chang. Economic sanctions against a nuclear North Korea. Jefferson,

N.C.: McFarland, 2007. Print.

Kim, Suk H. North Korea at a crossroads. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2003. Print.

Schwekendiek, Daniel.…[continue]

Some Sources Used in Document:

"The-World-Factbook" 

Cite This Essay:

"North Korea Due To Its" (2013, May 07) Retrieved December 7, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/north-korea-due-to-its-88339

"North Korea Due To Its" 07 May 2013. Web.7 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/north-korea-due-to-its-88339>

"North Korea Due To Its", 07 May 2013, Accessed.7 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/north-korea-due-to-its-88339

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • North Korea President Bush Was

    Yet, during the negotiations for the 1994 agreement one of the frequent demands of the North Koreans that was not met was a non-aggression treaty with the U.S. The reason that they may want this is because it may set the course for normalization of relationships and the economic benefits that would come as a result. These economic benefits would help bolster the present regime and ensure that the

  • North Korea Is One of the World s

    North Korea is one of the world's most centrally planned and isolated economies (The World Fact Book). As a result of years of underinvestment and spare parts shortages, its industrial capital stock is considered to be beyond repair and its economy is in chaos, faces desperate economic conditions. Industrial and power output have eroded and the nation has suffered its tenth year of food shortages because of a lack of

  • North Korea Weapon Issue

    North Korean Weapon Issue North Korea has been intimidating the United States with a series of nuclear threats since October 2002 when U.S. officials stopped the supply of heavy oils to the North in retaliation of its confessed production of nuclear warheads violating agreements signed in 1994. Shortly after, North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NTP) and agreements with the United Nations. While there is little proof that North

  • North Korea s Provocation to the U S South

    North Korea's provocation to the U.S., South Korea and Japan with the help of their nuclear weapons, media and foreign policy. "The most critical thing in the war of North Korea is to teach everyone of our nation to hate U.S. imperialism, or else, all of us will be unable to defeat them who are boating about their technological superiority." These are the famous words of the leader of North

  • North Korea s Nuclear Proliferation

    North Korea has acknowledged that it has a development program for nuclear technology. International talks and pressure tactics have attempted to halt this perceived proliferation of nuclear weapons; however, the methods used (from political pressure to sanctions) have not been successful. I will argue that North Korean proliferation is not the security threat feared by the West and explore how nuclear advances in Southeast Asia may actually help stabilize

  • Korean Peninsula and World Politics a Study of North Korea

    North Korea The first words used in the National Geographic Explorer episode on North Korea, before any other introduction is said, are "mysterious" and "terrifying." The state of North Korea is known as the Hermit Kingdom, because it has been literally cut off from the rest of the world for decades. The narrator of the National Geographic Explorer episode calls it the "most isolated country on earth." Cellular phones are banned.

  • Korean Peninsula and World Politics a Study of North Korea

    Korean Peninsula and World Politics: A study of North Korea Having been described as one of the most secretive states in the world, where even calculations of economic indicators is a difficult job to attain, there seems to be two very different perspectives of what North Korea is and the sentiments towards it. One is obviously the sentiments of the West, which has long considered it as an enemy state due


Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved