Kim Jong Un Orders Sharp Increase in Missile Production

In early August, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un toured his country’s military facilities, ordering a large increase in weapon production. As an NBC news article mentions, this push has coincided with reports that Russia has recently spoken with North Korean officials to sell Russia more weapons to aid in the war it is fighting against Ukraine. In light of these developments, South Korean and American militaries carried out drills to assess their “joint capability” in being able to prevent any sort of attack from the North.

North Korea’s actions are echoed in its officials’ belligerent statements. According to the NBC article, Kim Jong UN stated North Korea must build “an overwhelming military force and get fully prepared for coping with any war” with the ability to “surely annihilate” its enemies. His current goals are to “drastically boost” his war capabilities. A spokesperson for the allies (South Korea and America), Lee Sung Joon, has shared that the joint military drills are conducted to “further strengthen” their response to such escalation as the North is promising.

When examining these current events based on the ideal that world peace must be preserved, it is clear North Korea’s actions and statements threaten global stability. Where tensions were already high, increasing weapons capabilities in any capacity would only add kindling to the fire, because that always prompts the other side to shore up any of their weaknesses regarding defense. On one side, this weapons increase poses the already mentioned threat to the U.S. and South Korea. But North Korea’s policies, as described in the NBC article. will hurt world peace in an additional region, because the effect of the order is the intensification of the Ukraine conflict. With more weapons on the Russian side, many more will die, as such a development will likely incentivize the Russians to allow the war to drag on longer.

The divisions we see today are steeped in past conflict. In June of 1950, the Communist led Northern region of Korea attacked the South, and started a war of ideology – a proxy war in which each side was supported by antagonists in the Cold War. After the North’s heavy initial gains that pushed the Southern side to the end of Korea, the U.S. invaded, fearful of the spread of Communism, and pushed the Northern side all the way back up to the Yalu river (on the Chinese-Korean border). Underestimating the level of a Chinese response, the U.S. army was slightly caught on its heels as the Communist supporting forces of China joined the war, pushing the allies back to where the war originally began. This line, called the 38th parallel, is around where the Northern/Southern split exists still today. The end of the Cold War removed the proximate cause of the war, but North and South Korea, the former still a Chinese ally and the latter a staunch U.S. ally, are still in conflict today, exemplified by Kim Jong Un’s recent weapons push. North Korea remains a tightly controlled dictatorship, and its domestic propaganda portrays the U.S. and South Korea as North Korea’s mortal enemies whose sole goal is North Korea’s annihilation. North Korea’s repressive regime justifies its existence (and its people’s suffering) by using these external enemies as a reason for spending all its resources on defense and repressing (and at times starving) its people. Thus, for Kim Jong Un’s regime, military buildup and threats are fundamental to its existence and unlikely to change significantly in the near future.

In conclusion, the recent actions by Kim Jong Un clearly present a threat to world peace. On one hand, the North expanding their military capabilities even more than they already are could raise fears of allied countries and force them to increase their own relative strengths. But, on top of that, more of their weapons could be sold to combatants in conflicts that already exist, like the Russians in Ukraine. This is how the dictator’s decision affects world peace in a twofold way, and why it underlines a growing problem in the world today.


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