by Sarah Willson
It is no secret that tensions have risen between the United States and North Korea since the Korean War. Although believed to have ended over 60 years ago, the war is technically still ongoing, as the parties involved only agreed to a ceasefire.
Since then, the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea has reached an all-time low, especially since President Donald Trump took office in January.
After Vice President Mike Pence paid a visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), dictator Kim Jong-un warned that a nuclear war could break out at “any moment,” putting the U.S. on high alert.
Now more than ever, Trump is preaching the importance of creating peace between the two nations, something the U.S. has been working towards for over half a century.
However, to begin the process of creating peace between the U.S. and North Korea, it must first be examined why the isolated country and its mysterious leader have grown to despise the United States.
It is important to note that the split of North Korea and South Korea, which took place in 1945, was a major blow for such a tiny country. South Korea ultimately declared itself as an independent nation in May of 1948, leaving bloodthirsty, Soviet-appointed Kim II-sung a blank canvas to construct a communist country.
After taking office on Sept. 9, 1948, he begun his political revolution, calling himself “The Great Leader.” From then, everything went downhill. Kim II-sung begun to fill his people’s heads with propaganda, specifically about the U.S.
North Korea is angry at the U.S. for something it never did.
According to the BBC News Netflix documentary, “The Propaganda Name,” Korean schools have taught for decades, under the ruling of Kim II-sung, Kim Jong-il and now Kim Jong-un, that the U.S. fired the first shot in the Korean War, when in fact it was North Korea who did. North Korea’s people believe they only fired as a defense mechanism against the U.S.
Because of this, North Korea blames U.S. for its hardships, as the country took an emotional and economic loss due to the war. North Koreans today continue to pin their hardships on America, believing that the United States is the reason they live difficult lives.
So, how can America create lasting peace with North Korea?
First, the United States should not give North Korea any reasons to intervene within American government and military. This means steering clear from the DMZ, as visiting there only provokes the communist nation.
Second, America should formally end the Korean War, which to this day is still ongoing. There is no reason as to why the conflict should continue. More than anything, it puts other countries, including the U.S., at risk with North Korea and its 20 nuclear warheads.
Third, involve China. Applying pressure from China could ultimately scare North Korea from using nuclear weapons, as they know the Chinese military is much stronger than theirs will ever be. North Korea, although seemingly scary, does not want to put its country or its people at more risk than they already are.
Lastly, although not likely, Trump may need to continue Obama’s administration condition for negotiating peace, which ultimately aims to disarm North Korea of its nuclear weapons.
Trump, however, has made it clear that he has no intention of pursuing any of Obama’s foreign policies.
Nothing is going to happen overnight. But, if all else fails, negotiating peace between the two countries may not be the worst idea. After all, North Korea has been demanding a peace treaty with the U.S. since 2011.