UN Visit to North Korea dismissed

‘It’s your world’, the motto of the United Nations, is symbolic of its values. The UN is believed to represent equality, democracy and the ability of people to work together to improve the modern world. This would definitely appear to compliment the values expressed in the popular North Korean revolutionary song, the ‘Song of General Kim Il-Sung’, which describes Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea, as “The Sun of Korea today, democratic and free”. This asserts the supposed North Korean principles of liberty and democracy.

However, this is very distant from the reality of life in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which has one of the most oppressive systems of government in the world today. Kim Jung-un, a descendent of Kim Il-Sung, holds a dictatorship in North Korea. His autocratic system of government is undemocratic and has been accused of violating human rights by the UN in 2014 and by international NGO Human Rights Watch.

On the 11th of November, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua claimed that the UN and North Korea would be brought together this week. Citing North Korea’s official news agency, KNCA, it reported that General Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary- General, who originates from South Korea, would visit North Korea. This was followed by Yonhap, South Korea’s news agency, making the same claim on the 16th of November, citing an unnamed UN source. The UN refused to make a comment.

These reports have now been proven to be false. On the 18th of November, the UN issued a statement, stating that Ban will not be visiting North Korea this week. However, it has been made clear that he would be willing to travel there in the future as he would like to encourage peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea has not been receptive to previous international calls for cooperation. This is highlighted by the fact that North Korea cancelled a visit by Ban in May. The tensions between North Korea and the international community are visible. North Korea is under multiple UN Security Council resolutions and faces EU and US sanctions for its nuclear missile tests. Moreover, the UN supported the South Korea during the civil war which led to the division of North and South Korea. The conflict between North and South Korea ended with an armistice in 1953 but no peace treaty has ever been drawn up so the two nations technically still remain at war.


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