Will South and North Korea become the world’s next headache?

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016

Folks, happenings in the Korean Peninsula are frightening. No one who knows what is building up will underrate those happenings as potential sources of a catastrophe that will put the world on edge.

Those familiar with the three-year fratricidal war between North Korea and South Korea and the influence of the international community, especially the United States in halting the hostilities in 1953 with an ARMISTICE and not a Peace Treaty with stated conditions to be complied with will not go fart in search for answers to questions arising from the bad-blood relationship between the two Koreas ever since.

History tells us much about why North Korea has been what it chose for itself ever since its founder (Kim il-Sung (the Dear Leader), followed by his son, Kim Jong-il) took it along the path of communism, establishing a dynasty that now has Kim Jong-un in power. Traditionally, North Korea has enjoyed some kind of sympathy from China, even if latter-day happenings suggest that China is hesitant in fully backing it.

Because of its intransigence, North Korea has been hit by sanctions imposed by its corps of haters, led by the United States. The United Nations has also imposed severe sanctions on it, especially following its pursuit of nuclear power. The politics surrounding the sanctions and all that has happened for the West to back down are known. So also is the pariah status of North Korea.

Interestingly, North Korea has stood its grounds despite all the severe sanctions and isolation, doing what has shocked the world. It has tested missiles developed at home and done many more to threaten its neighbour. It has protested against the annual joint military exercises between its adversaries (South Korea and the US) and has even gone ahead to fire missiles at South Korean territories. Nothing has deterred it so far from asserting its influence.

Just last Friday, it carried out a nuclear test that has now stoked the fire that threatens not only the Korean peninsula but the entire world as such. In fact, the test has registered a strong and scary impact. It said that Friday’s test had been of a “nuclear warhead that has been standardised to be able to be mounted on strategic ballistic rockets”.

In reaction, South Korea says that it has “a plan to annihilate the North Korean capital if it shows any signs of mounting a nuclear attack”. As the BBC reported, “A military source told the Yonhap news agency that every part of Pyongyang “will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosives shells”. (See http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37331852).

The stage seems to be set for the escalation of tension in the Korean Peninsula. Does that matter to other parts of the world? Yes, clearly because of the “nuclear” element. Those familiar with the devastating effect of anything “nuclear” know what is at stake.

Long ago, I got to know that the release of one nuclear warhead into the atmosphere will reduce the world to a perpetual winter of darkness. Total annihilation of life!!

Why is North Korea so adamant in having its way? And why is South Korea also gearing up to reduce Pyongyang to ashes as if the Korean crisis is limited to that peninsula alone?

Intriguingly, South Korea has been heavily supported by the US and its allies. Why is it that the Korean crisis isn’t being solved with the seriousness that it deserves? What is the UN doing?

I daresay that the escalation in the tests being conducted by North Korea and the rhetoric emanating from its opponents are scary, which suggests that Ban Ki-Moon (a South Korean) and his UN must sit up to prevent anything catastrophic). Can they?

Those of us in Africa and other parts of the world not directly connected to the Korean crisis need the peace of mind to live our lives on earth. We already have a lot to worry about, especially when it comes to food, shelter, and clothing. We have no interest in the South-North Korea peril; but we can’t live in isolation from happenings in other parts of the world, especially when such happenings threaten human existence.

Will Ban Ki-Moon and his UN act expeditiously to stem the tide or wait for the situation to get out of hand before taking desperate measures to douse the fire? Happenings in many parts of the world (Libya, Syria, etc.) tell us that there is too much already to worry about. Why should the Korean crisis be added to them?

I shall return…

  • E-mail: mjbokor@yahoo.com
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