Posted: June 8th, 2012 | Author: Tom van der Made | Filed under: Government, Governmental Policies, Human Rights, International Relations, Military, Nuclear Dispute | Tags: aid, devotion, food, future, human, Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, Korea, leader, Military, missle, nation, nuclear, poverty, power, rights, shortage, South, speech, starvation, suffering, supreme, times, US, war
A country contrasted by military power and poverty. A regime that is developing nuclear missiles at the expense of Koreans inhabitants who find themselves at the starvation level. In March 2011, the World Food Programme (WFP) estimated that 6 million North Koreans needed food aid and a third of children were chronically malnourished or underdeveloped. All as possible result from wrong priorities, as North Korea has been on edge ever since the Korean War, which many argue began 60 years ago and still hasn’t ended.
The Korean War from June 1950 to 1953 began when North Korea, led by the Kim Il Sung, invaded South Korea along the political border between both countries, known as the 38th parallel. Kim Il Sung wanted to unite Korea under communist rule. Because of this, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) supported the invasion, but was cautious of becoming physically involved due to the fact that World War II had only just ended. In response, the US tried to intervene due to their fear of communism spreading throughout Asia. Many lives were lost and the 38th parallel was re-established as the border between the two Koreas.
More recently, namely in December of last year, Kim Jong-un took over from his father Kim Jong-il as he passed away. Noteworthy is that new supreme leader of North Korea has yet to reach the age of 30 and differences between the former and current leader have already surfaced as various news outlets such as the New York Times and the CNN reported on some of these differences.
Kim Jong-un spoke to his people on April 15th to mark the 100th birthday of the nation’s founder and grandfather, Kim Il Sung. However, the main message of Kim Jong-un is the same as his father’s, as Kim emphasized the importance of strengthening North Korea’s defences by placing the country’s ‘first, second and third’ priorities on military might. Nonetheless, the differences can be found in the fact that he spoke directly to his own people was new as Kim Jong-il only did this once back in 1992. Furthermore, Kim Jong-un expressed that he recognizes the present food shortage in North Korea, something his father and predecessor did not acknowledge.
While North Korea spends its money on its military, one third of its GDP according to SIPRI, weapons and tributes to its leaders, the regime still goes to the international community for aid. In October of last year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern “that the acute humanitarian needs” of at least 3.5 million woman and children in North Korea would worsen because of food shortages. In North Korea, however, the military still comes first. Read the rest of this entry »