Why Don T We Free North Korea

Background Information

North Korea has been a fully closed country since the Korean War in 1950, when it was separated from South Korea as an independent state. In the sixty-five years since then, North Korea has become one of the most oppressive and isolated countries on Earth. The country is led by the Kim dynasty, with Kim Jong-Un currently the supreme leader, and is notorious for the systematic human rights abuses it regularly inflicts on its citizens. North Korea has been nicknamed the “Hermit Kingdom” due to its highly reclusive nature, including the lack of access to the outside world that its citizens are granted. This lack of freedom of movement, expression, and information has caused many to call for North Korea to be freed.

Relevant Data

According to the World Bank, North Korea has an estimated population of 25 million people, almost all of whom remain under the control of the authoritarian regime. It is estimated that approximately 190,000 of these citizens are held in prison camps, with no right to a fair trial or legal representation. In addition, it is estimated that one-third of the population is facing extreme poverty, while another third is chronically malnourished. North Korea currently has the lowest ranking on Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index, and is the only country to have been given the “very-worst” rating.

Experts Perspectives

Human rights experts have argued that North Korea remains one of the most pressing global humanitarian crises, due to its lack of access to fundamental liberties and civil rights, as well as its frequent violations of international law. The United Nations has released several reports calling for immediate action on the matter, highlighting the widespread and widely accepted human rights abuses perpetrated by the North Korean regime. Amnesty International also has detailed reports on the human rights violations in the country.

Analysis & Insight

It is clear that the citizens of North Korea are living under an oppressive and authoritarian regime, one which denies them their basic human rights. While the international community has called for the North Korean government to reform, it is unlikely to do so without outside intervention. It is therefore time for the international community to take action and work together to free North Korea and protect its citizens. In doing so, we would be sending a powerful message that human rights and dignity must always be respected.

The Role of China and the United States

China is arguably North Korea’s most important ally and trading partner, and holds major influence over the North Korean regime. It is therefore essential that China is involved in efforts to free North Korea and respect its citizens’ rights. The United States is also a key player in the issue; previous engagement between the two countries has been beneficial, and further dialogue is needed.

Alternative Approaches

Sanctions and embargos have been imposed on North Korea by the United Nations, with the aim of pressuring the regime to end its human rights abuses. While such steps can be effective, it is important to remember that sanctions disproportionately affect the citizens of North Korea, and can lead to further suffering for those already struggling. It is therefore important to think about alternative approaches and strategies which can be used to proactively free North Korea without causing further hardship.

International Support

In order to successfully free North Korea, support and action from the international community is essential. A united global effort is needed, to show solidarity and demand change. Governments, NGOs, celebrities and ordinary citizens must come together to raise awareness and show that the world cares about what is happening in North Korea. Making sure North Korea is discussed in international forums and making sure human rights violations are addressed is key to working towards a free North Korea.

Education and Outreach

One of the most effective ways to free North Korea is to start from the bottom and work up. This can be done by investing in educational tools, such as books and films, and developing technologies which allow citizens to access information. It is also important to engage the North Korean government and hold it accountable for its actions, in order to push for reform. In addition, it is important to engage with North Koreans living overseas, in order to learn about the reality of life in the country.

Open Access & International Involvement

It is also important to promote access to the outside world in order to open North Korea up to international ideas, advancements and solutions. This means that the international community must show a commitment to working with North Korea, in order to offer financial, technical and moral assistance. Additionally, it is essential that North Korea is allowed to participate in global dialogues and discussions in order to ensure that their voices are heard.

Technology and Connectivity

Developing greater connectivity and access to technology is also an important factor in freeing North Korea. With the advancement of technology, it is now easier than ever before for the citizens of North Korea to interact with the outside world and gain access to information they would have been unable to access in the past. However, it is important to note that the North Korean government heavily controls access to the internet and mobile phones, meaning that a careful approach is needed in order to ensure that access to technology can be a tool for freedom, rather than repression.

Cassie Grissom is an American journalist and author living in Seoul, South Korea. She has been studying the Korean peninsula since 2011, and her work focuses on understanding human rights issues in North Korea. In addition to her work as an author, Cassie is an active advocate for human rights in North Korea. She regularly shares stories about life in North Korea with international audiences to raise awareness of the plight of its citizens.

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