North Korea and its diplomatic relations have long been a high priority issue, now the situation has only deteriorated. When Japanese forces withdrew from Korea after World War II, The Soviet Union and The United States set up provisional governments in their respective halves of Korea.
After the merging of these two provisional governments ended only in a stalemate, the United States requested United Nations involvement. The U.N.
ruled that free elections were to be held in Korea, but The Soviet Union, not wanting the U.N. involved in the first place, refuted this decision. When elections were held, they were boycotted in the North, thus only the South voted, because of this, the anti-communist, Syngman Rhee was elected. Kim Il-Sung established the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and, with backing from The Soviet Union, was installed as the ruler of North Korea.
Soon after, South Korea officially declared its independence from the DPRK. In the next two years before the Korean War, North Korea instigated many bloody conflicts on the border. Finally, in 1950, North Korea, with the full support of the Soviet Union, launched an attack into South Korea. The U.N., led by The U.S., immediately came to South Korea’s aid.
Three years later the war ended, nothing was accomplished aside from over two and a half million casualties, a three-mile-wide demilitarized zone, between North and South Korea, and an unofficial truce. Thereafter North Korea was still committed to reunifying Korea with military force. Years later South and North Korea have only inched toward cooperation, until extremely recently when, the two countries agreed to attend the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, North Korea, together, as a unified Korea. Yet this progress has been dulled in light of North Korea’s nuclear developments. After many successful missile tests North Korea has finally procured the ability to launch an ICBM, intercontinental ballistic missile, and potentially reach the United States, North Korea’s largest obstacle on its path to achieve military equilibrium. Although Pyongyang’s technology is still several steps away from being able to hit the U.S.
with a nuclear payload, this new development is still unsettling. More unsettling still are the almost daily threats and taunts made by United States President, Donald Trump toward North Korea, which only seem to escalate the issue. Almost all of the 193 states in the United Nations have signed nonproliferation treaties, in fact, only eight countries have nuclear weapons, the U.
S., the U.K., China, France, Pakistan, Israel, India, and North Korea, yet these eight countries all possess the ability to start a nuclear holocaust that would affect all 187 of the non-nuclear-armed states. Iran is in the unique position of having a lasting friendship with North Korea, and as such has the potential to broker a deal that will finally put an end to this crisis. Iran has seen many different orders, from Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s monarchy to Ayatollah Ruhollah’s theocratic government, to the current Islamic Republic led by Hassan Rouhani and Ali Khamenei.
These many systems have taught the people of Iran to be skeptic toward their leaders and their decisions. Outbreaks of protests in late December and early January of this year illustrated this for the first time since 2009 when hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Tehran and other major cities in an effort to show their indignation at the current regime. Because of these internal disturbances, Iran has not had the ability to aid in the current situation in North Korea. After many years of noncompliance fueled by North Korean encouragement, Iran, with the help of the IAEA and other international organizations, has finally ridden itself of nuclear weapons, and is now in full support of nuclear nonproliferation. In addition, Iran wishes to use its positive past relationship with North Korea to affect change and reach an agreement that all parties are satisfied with.
In order for any real change to take place, the global attitude toward North Korea must change. North Korea needs to be seen as a dangerous threat, yet also as an opportunity to prove to the citizens of the world, that this situation can, must and will, be solved peacefully. The recent developments of North and South Korea’s cooperation have been evidence of this much-needed perspective change, as well as very virtuous news.
Iran retains many allies that are extremely invested in the notion of a non-nuclear North Korea, such as Russia, India, and China. Iran aims to continue to follow this approach by supporting these positions. Yet Iran also feels that many steps must come before and alongside a non-nuclear North Korea. An obvious first step would be to encourage other countries to stop antagonizing North Korea, a country that is constantly furious is a country extremely less perceptive to any type of cooperation.
Similarly, improving North Korea’s relations with states like South Korea and The United States is another action that should preempt the elimination of North Korea’s nuclear weapons. The ultimate steps would include encouraging North Korea to re-enter the Six-Party Talks, and finally, offering to lighten or eliminate sanctions in exchange for North Korea’s abandonment of its nuclear program and weapons testing. Iran believes that the path to a non-nuclear, non-confrontational North Korea, is through many actions of compromise and cooperation. Using threats and intimidation will only escalate the problem. This delegate hopes to resolve this issue by working with a multitude of countries in order to once and for all, put this issue to rest.