North Korea Politics

By | June 24, 2021

Famine in North Korea

In the 1990s the Eastern Bloc collapsed and this development had serious consequences for North Korea. The food situation deteriorated even further. If North Korea was previously supported by food imports, these suddenly stopped and the country was left on its own. In the absence of alternatives, supplies collapsed and many people remained undernourished or died. One speaks of millions of fatalities. North Korea has long refused to accept help from abroad.

Relations with South Korea

From 2000 the relations between North and South Korea improved somewhat, so that South Koreans were allowed to visit the north as tourists. But this period of relaxation did not last long, and from 2008 the situation worsened again. There were a few incidents which further clouded the mood.

Even if Kim Jong-un promised in between to modernize his country and wanted to improve relations with South Korea, essentially nothing has changed in politics. With a few exceptions, North Korea continues to isolate itself from the rest of the world.

Nuclear power North Korea

North Korea is a nuclear power and officially declared itself to be one in 2012. That means it has nuclear weapons. This mainly called the UN on the scene and economic sanctions against North Korea came about. Nevertheless, North Korea threatened further nuclear tests and possibly even an attack on South Korea. Nobody took this threat that seriously. Other countries assume that North Korea only wanted to show its power to the outside world. China, the only country friendly with North Korea, also condemned these threats. Nevertheless, one can never be sure whether North Korea – at some point pushed into a corner – will not make use of the nuclear advantage. There are always missile tests that worry many states.

President Trump meets Kim Jong-un

According to allpubliclibraries, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met in Singapore on June 12, 2018. Since it was the first meeting of an American president with a head of state of North Korea since the country was founded in 1948, many refer to the meeting as “historic”. That means that it was just a very important meeting that should go down in history.

North Korea Politics

What have Trump and Kim Jong-un negotiated now?

There is no concrete result of the meeting. This is also the point that many people make as a criticism. The North Korean dictator has promised to end its nuclear weapons program, because North Korea is one of the countries that have nuclear weapons and are therefore very dangerous.

Both signed a so-called letter of intent. As the word suggests, an intention is being proclaimed here – that is, North Korea’s intention to renounce nuclear weapons. How exactly this should look like, in what period of time and who ultimately controls it, nothing is stated in the explanation. In return, President Trump wanted to forego the economic sanctions imposed on North Korea and not undertake joint military exercises with South Korea. However, only shortly afterwards came the restriction if everything went well.

Why is there criticism from many quarters?

In the future, the relationship between the two states should be improved. This is a good thing you might think. It is of course also on the one hand. Nevertheless, criticism is made. Firstly because President Trump’s visit has paid tribute to a dictator who oppresses his people and simply locks many political opponents in camps and treats them very badly. This issue was not addressed.

And shortly before that, Trump had spoken to his allies at a summit in Canada and offended many people here. The fact that he insults his important partners and treats the North Korean dictator almost like a friend has given many people a lot to think about, and not only among his political opponents.

If every dictatorship that had nuclear weapons took advantage of it now, what would happen? Some people ask themselves this question too. In the meantime, the relationship between the two countries has cooled down again. Especially when the North Korean dictator announced in early 2020 that he would not comply with the stop on nuclear tests and missile tests. North Korea then carried out tests again to show strength and determination.

The relationship with South Korea has also cooled down again after a brief rapprochement.