North Korea has always been a controversial/disputable topic to discuss. Now, why is there a North Korea and South Korea and not just KOREA? Korea was one single country but it got divided after the second world war. The Soviet Union occupied the North of the country and USA occupied the South of the country. It was formally divided into North Korea and South Korea on 9th September, 1948. Both the countries are not only separated geographically but they both are 2 different worlds, like chalk and cheese.
Living Conditions in North Korea
North Korea is a military dictatorship and doesn’t provide enough food for its people. It is considered to be one of the world’s most isolated and poorest country. Kim Jong-un is the dictator of North Korea and he keeps tight control over the economy. It is mostly unable to meet the needs of its people. North Korea’s economy suffered a devastating downturn in the 1990s when it shrank by nearly a third, and starvation is considered to take the lives of nearly thousands of people. Things have improved but still aren’t great in the country. Since 1948, North Korea has been ruled by the men from the same family. The 25 million people living in the country live under a form of communist rule. Its very difficult to leave the country and people hardly get to visit North Korea. People can’t listen to foreign broadcasts or even watch foreign movies there and whoever does faces harsh punishments. This also means that people there have no idea of outside/world events and they also don’t know what their country is thought of by the outside world. Most North Koreans are extremely poor and can’t even afford things like washing machines, fridges etc. People who try to change the system of the country or try to question the leadership are brutally punished and sometimes killed. North Koreans can’t demand things from their government. Kim Jong-un forces people to cheer for him and people do that because they think that they would get into serious trouble if they didn’t. From the early years, people of North Koreans are taught that their leaders are powerful gods and that they are supposed to worship their leaders. People there don’t have access to the internet. It is available in the country but it is only accessible to the government officials.
Rumours Surrounding Kim Jong Un
The state government has claimed many things to their people about Kim which are completely fallacious. Kim once stated that he has supernatural bodily functions i.e. he doesn’t urinate or defecate or go to the washroom for any such actions. So far, we have established that North Korea has one of the worst international reputations, but people there are told that their leaders and the country itself are beloved around the world and every country remembers and celebrates their birthdays. The state media has also claimed that Kim started to drive by the age of 3 though, to be honest, what is the need, really. It is also said that younger Kim is a celebrated musical composer and is very famous around the world, which he is but obviously not for the music.
Relations between North Korea and the United States
North Korea has active nuclear weapons and can possess biological and chemical weapons capabilities. The country has shown illicit behaviour by withdrawing from nuclear weapons treaties. In 2017, North Korea successfully tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile and also conducted thermonuclear weapon test in September 2017. Later, it was discovered that its nuclear activities were more extensive than declared. North Korea posed to be one of the most persistent U.S. foreign policy challenges (Post-Cold War period). Having made advances in nuclear and missile weapons under Kim Jong-un, North Korea has evolved to be a grave security threat to the United States. The United States and North Korea began denuclearization talks in 2018, but those negotiations have been frozen since February 2019. Meanwhile, North Korea simultaneously has continued to develop its nuclear powers. If a power struggle in the family after Kim’s death, implications emerge for U.S. interests, including questions about control of the country’s nuclear arsenal, the potential for a humanitarian crisis, and the possibility of a confrontation with China that could alter the fundamental security of the country.
Power within Family
In April 2020, his disappearance from public view prompted reports that he was gravely ill or had died following heart surgery. The 36-year-old dictator, with obesity and a heavy smoker, is reported to have suffered from various health problems. Kim is believed to have three children under the age of 10 but has no obvious heir. If he dies or becomes incapacitated, it is undetermined who would be the next ruler. His younger sister and his confidante, Kim Yo Jong, is among the most likely to take control. She played a prominent role in summit diplomacy, but analysts wonder if a woman could become the leader.
Covid-19 in North Korea
Leader Kim Jong Un warned top party officials of the “serious consequences” of failing to prevent an outbreak of the new coronavirus in the country. The poverty struck nation, which has a weak and ill-equipped healthcare system, has closed its borders to prevent the spread of the disease into its territory.
Pyongyang, capital of the country has not reported a single case of COVID-19, which has killed and infected citizens of dozens of countries since it emerged in the neighboring country, China. Moreover, there are debates over the survival of North Korea if the pandemic reaches its citizens. Poverty struck, starved with no medical facilities and little to no education, many believe that more than half of the 25 million people living there will die or incapacitated to work or uphold their families leading more to starve and die. The military bans on executing every patient of the virus without thinking of the consequences. Other countries, like South Korea and USA plan on providing medical services to the country.
To sum it up, the living conditions in North Korea are horrible. People are not given any kinds of basic human rights such as freedom of speech and expression. There are no medical services provided and if Covid-19 reaches the country’s borders then a large sum of people will fall to their demise. It is one of the only 9 countries who have nuclear weapons and its cold relations with countries surrounding it and the US, it is a threat to not only itself but the world.