by Isaac Wilson web content manager
On April 11, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to abate his threats against the Unites States, and instead focus on improving the livelihood of his own people. Since his acquisition of power, the North Korean president has issued an increasing aggregation of threats against South Korea and the United States.
North Korea, officially named the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), has been separated from South Korea since the fall of Japan in World War II, leading to the northern half of the peninsula being controlled by Soviet Russia and becoming its own communist nation in 1948. The government remains a dictatorship, and their policies are vehemently against the United States, partially because of U.S. involvement in the Korean War.
When in South Korea, Dr. Jae Hyeok Jang, assistant professor of music, heard frequently about the happenings of North Korea. “I remember it was pretty often — once a week from main news channels about big and small news about North Korea,” he said. “Sometimes there were TV programs which told South Koreans about North Koreans, such as what they do on holidays, how kids are doing at school, how the army is trained and about how the Kims are doing, etc.”
Jang said, “I hope that the new Kim, as a young leader with new experiences, will develop the economy, improve human rights and open up to the outside world, instead of focusing on military powers so that the road to reunification of Korea will be eventually open. I dearly want reunification of Korea, but I worry about whether a sudden reunification will be healthy for both Koreans, and wish that North Korea would prepare better for reunification.”
As reported in an April 4 article on cnn.com, “[G]overnmental news agency KCNA reported, ‘We formally inform the White House and Pentagon that the ever-escalating U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK and its reckless nuclear threat will be smashed by the strong will of all the united service personnel and people and cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means of the DPRK and that the merciless operation of its revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified,’ it said. ‘The U.S. had better ponder over the prevailing grave situation.’”
However, feelings are mixed in South Korea about the recent threats. Yong In Kim, sophomore communications major and Korean citizen, said, “To be honest it’s good that people are taking precautions, and it’s good that they’re freaking out to a certain degree, but I also don’t think it’s a big deal, because I think it’s entirely political.”
For most South Koreans, the hazards are nothing new. Jang said that he has communicated more often with his family and friends in South Korea because of the current events, but they are carrying on their daily business. He said, “They seem tired of hearing such news about and from North Korea.”
With the continued threats from North Korea concerning nuclear weapons, the U.S. government has been working against the North Korean government in its acquisition of such weapons, as reported by cnn.com. The article continues to report that Secretary of State John Kerry made a trip to South Korea, and plans to make a trip to China, in order to gain support against North Korea gaining nuclear armaments.