International Relations

Should the UN and the US Government Maintain Strong Sanctions on North Korea?

In the light of continuous wars and confrontations in the world, there is still a tendency of introducing a negotiating style of reaching a consensus regarding various political and economic issues. As soon as these issues are solved, governments all over the world can develop new techniques and strategies on maintaining peace. In relation to North Korea, it should be stressed that the situation is difficult; however, the UN and the US government should still prefer negotiation to confrontation while coping with nuclear tests in North Korea. In the light of the 9/11 events, the security sanctions have been imposed on Pyongyang. The sanctions involved an embargo on technological and military materials, as well as influenced the financial sphere. The government has also imposed an economic sanction, but North Korea is still regarded as the main trading partner and, therefore, there should be an alternative decision framework which will simplify the procedure and solve the problem. It should still be admitted that the UN and US sanctions are logical, because nuclear missiles are a serious threat to humanity due to the destructive consequences of their usage. Since North Korea is both a world’s trader and dictatorship state, the United States and the United Nations should take a greater control of the situation and impose sanctions in an attempt to prevent the proliferation and testing of nuclear weapons.

There are a number of reasons and facts supporting the necessity of imposing sanctions. To begin with, it should be stressed that the governmental regime in North Korea is authoritarian, which means that the purpose of governing is the total control. The influence of non-proliferation sanctions imposed on North Korea has become the major issue because of the nuclear explosion and the spread of military activities. By promoting the trade data evaluation, it is essential to reveal the export patterns, which are introducing North Korea as a powerful nuclear state with the totalitarian regime. However, the Korean government should also recognize that their prestige in the world will not be enhanced on the account of their military equipment. On the contrary, North Korean leaders should think over alternative ways of spreading and developing commercial relationships. As a proof, Kim (2014) focuses on the analysis of trading propensity of the country at the individual level, along with the review of export control systems. Specifically, the author recommends, “the Security Council Committee could consider the implementation of a sanction matrix, which could provide a list of obligations with details necessary for the implementation of the sanctions” (Kim, 2014, p. 107). In other words, there is no sense in imposing sanctions solely on North Korea. In this regard, the UN and the US government should develop a holistic strategy that will provide the overall export control of all the trading activities. As a result, the transparent reporting and equal control of trading opportunities will provide a win-win solution for both the UN members and North Korea (Kim, 2014). The latter will experience a lower pressure on the part of the developed economies, particularly who are under the control of the UN organization. The existence of the third party that will objectively control all the activities can be an effective means of promoting the equality and security for all the trade members involved in the commercial relation. In other words, the task of the UN is to prove that the availability of the nuclear weapon is not the way of controlling the world and exercising power through the terror and deterrence.

The relations between North Korea and South Korea are still conflicting, which means that there is a threat of the nuclear confrontation between these two countries. The Korean War in the 1950s between the two countries ended in an armistice. North Korea seeks for the unification of the Korean Peninsula under the leadership of the Km family (Arms Control Association, 2016). There is also an international organization guided by the United Nations, namely the Arms Control Association which guides the UN Security Resolutions on North Korea. In case the sanctions are imposed, the UN and Arms Control Association have sufficient reasons for that. Specifically, the reports show that five major resolutions were accepted in 2006 aimed at strengthening sanctions on North Korea and developing new limits on the nuclear weapons program initiated by Pyongyang. North Korea, therefore, is prohibited from launching the nuclear weapon technology, because it threatens the overall global welfare in the world.

Since the governmental regime in North Korea is far from being democratic, the leadership and governance styles are not predictable, lacking the experience in international negotiations. Due to the support that the United States gives to South Korea, North Korea feels threatened and may undertake drastic measures (Arms Control Association, 2016). There are military exercises held by South Korea and the US on an annual basis that are seen by North Korea as the planning of an invasion Therefore, the abolition of nuclear weapon in North Korea can make the Asian region more safe and attractive for foreign investors. Currently, North Korea fails to sustain a fruitful relationship with the countries of the former Soviet Union. As a result, the nuclear weapon development is the only chance for the country to stay afloat at the international market. Specifically, Pollack (2011) assumes, “many observers argue that North Korea’s loss of alliance connect with the Soviet Union and then with China at the end of the Cold War is what triggers nuclear weapons development” (p.). However, the situation only ignited the process of nuclear accumulation. There is no evidence supporting the fact of the nuclear proliferation and expansion, but the security measures are still presented to provide sanctions and introduce prohibitions against the current programs in North Korea. Additionally, the author also assumes that there is no logical negotiations regarding the elimination of the weapons; therefore, a specific preliminary discussion should be held before the sanction is imposed, which can be acceptable by both parties of discussion. In this respect, the UN organization should still express a respect for the North Korea’s interest, integrity, and culture in terms of maintaining a peaceful co-existence and developing diplomatic relations. Furthermore, the negotiation stage is a crucial way of establishing the long-term, firm relation which can increase the potential for redirecting the nuclear program, making it more oriented on the technological innovation in other spheres, as well as enhancing the potential of the country in other technological and economic fields.

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Counter Argument

Despite the existence of sanctions, North Korea continues to work on improving of its nuclear weapon. The reason for this lies in the sanctions which have not been strong enough to prevent the state from collecting various materials that are essential in the nuclear missile building. Indeed, imposing sanctions against the country could become an effective tool in fighting with the nuclear weapon proliferation. They also enrich the international law and contribute to the peace maintenance (European Union Institute for Security Studies, 2015). At the same time, the responsibility to initiate restrictive measures is still associated with an individual state. The implementation of the UN sanction creates a number of technical problems. In this regard, with the aim of taking control over the implementation of sanctions, the Security Council has developed two major control mechanisms – the Sanctions Committee and Panel of Experts. The latter assumes the activities under the control of the former and is aimed at exploring and collecting the information from the UN organization related to the sanctions’ implementation and violation of standards and legislature. It also evaluates the meechanisms and best practices of legal submission and enforcement of the Committee agreement. There are four major issues which make it difficult for the Committee to implement the sanctions – reporting, capacities, organizations and definitions (European Union Institute for Security Studies, 2015). Due to the growing complexity of sanction regimes, many states, particularly small ones, fail to enforce and implement capacities. Such a situation happens due to the insufficient financial institutions, poor export control systems and poor customers. Therefore, the lack of capacity leads to the poor reporting and lack of transparency. There are many other complications which put the political consideration aside, making ethical and legal issues more crucial for the case. Besides, Pyongyang has presented itself as the major supply of  military equipment at an affordable price for developing economies.

Rebuttal

Despite the existing controversies, the major goal of the UN activists is confined to preventing North Korea from carrying out further nuclear testing and launching military missiles. It is also prohibited from encouraging the development of nuclear programs via financial transactions, related materials, equipment, technical training, goods and technology, advices and recommendations. Furthermore, it is also prohibited to transfer small arms and weapons to conventional arms (European Union Institute for Security Studies, 2015). Additionally, the control of the ballistic missile program can provide the withdrawal from nuclear testing, thus enhancing the entire security and improving the status of North Korea as a non-nuclear government. The uncertainty regarding the case, therefore, should be removed.

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Although there are many contradictions regarding the availability and threat of the launch of the nuclear testing, one fact is evident. Specifically, the UN and the US government have the right to fight for a peaceful existence and take measures aimed at enhancing and guaranteeing the security of the entire planet. However, imposing sanctions merely on North Korea may not be the only possible solution of the issue. As a result, the international community should approach the problem by managing new schemes and understanding how this issue can be solved for improving the relations. Each sanction imposed should not limit the freedoms and initiatives of any country, because it violates the rights of humans. In this respect, the major purpose of the sanction is to increase the international cooperation and collaboration. The Security Council Report (2016) proves that the government has sufficient evidence for strengthening sanctions against North Korea, but this prohibition should relate to the nuclear testing program, but not on the trading activities of the country. In such a manner, it will be possible to maintain a peaceful co-existence.

In conclusion, the UN and the US government should strengthen their sanctions on North Korea only in terms of the nuclear testing program. Such a narrow-focused approach will definitely contribute to the security and safety at the international level. Furthermore, it can also create a new platform for a peaceful cooperation and collaboration. The prohibition of the nuclear program can also weaken the tension between North Korea and South Korea. Finally, the UN and the US government should also introduce a shift in the way they impose the limitation on commercial relations. In this regard, they should introduce a preliminary negotiation and allow the country to provide a rationale for the program before it is abolished. If the negotiation stage does not provide positive results, it will be possible to introduce additional measures such as the stricter sanctions both on North Korea and countries which are involved in commercial relations with this country. On the whole, such a strategic framework can also be used in handling future conflicts and developing new emergence and action plans for enhancing peace and ensuring long-term relations with other countries.

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