Tensionsbetween North Korea and South Korea Rise
OnOctober 7th, 2015, the Korean Herold reported that the Joint Chiefsof Staff chief Gen. Lee Sun-Jin warned North Korea that he would takestern action if North Korea made true of its attempts of launchingnuclear and missile threats against South Korea. The newlyinaugurated leader said that South Korea would try to deter theprovocation. However, the leader said that he will not stand andwatch as the enemy jeopardizes his territory, warning, which he willnot hesitate to take military action against North Korea. Heretaliated that South Korea’s military is ready to protect thecountry’s borders.1
Therehas been rising tensions between the countries since the Pyongyang’sland mine attack where two South Korean soldiers were severelyinjured. This was followed by an exchange of fire between the twocountries.2Experts fear that another exchange of fire would result in a fullblown war as the two Korean countries fight each other. Expertsbelieve that the landmine attack was an attempt by North Korea’sdictator to get attention after it emerged that the Unites States ofAmerica was in negotiations with Iraq over a nuclear deal. The attackseemed to be aimed at making the United States of America know thatthe country is in possession of nuclear power and they should not beignored. However, South Korea has been working hard to prevent warbetween the two countries. However, there affirm stands to be tested,especially when North Korea made threats of making missile andnuclear attacks on South Korea. This paper will look at the risingtensions between South Korea and North Korea.
NorthKorea has over the years been known for making threats against SouthKorea and the United States of America.3The country has made several threats, but this time the situationseems different as they have gone ahead and initiated land mineattacks on South Koreas soil injuring South Koreas military men andwomen. There has even been an exchange of fire between the twocountries. The situation is not getting any better and is nearing thebrink of war. The South Korean defense minister (Han Min-Koo) hadthis to say during a recent press conference, "If North Koreacontinues on provoking, our military — as we have already warned –will respond sternly, and end the evil provocations of North Korea,"additionally he said that "North Korea`s offensive action is adespicable crime that breaks a ceasefire agreement and thenon-aggression treaty between North and South."4
Itis important to note that this is not the first time the twocountries have been at loggerheads. A treaty signed in the year 1953was seen by many as an end to the constant tensions between the twocountries. However, North Korea has time and again been guilty offueling tensions between the two countries by breaking the ceasefireagreement of the year 1953. The following are some of the incidentsthat have made the two countries almost to come to war. In the year1967, North Korea attacked a South Korean vessel (the Dangpo). Theship sank and 39 out of the 70 crew members died. In the year 1968, ateam of 31 commands from North Korea were intercepted as they triedto assassinate the then South Korean President Park Chung Hee. Inanother incident, North Korean soldiers attacked a group of people asthey were cutting down a tree inside the demilitarized zone. Theincident claimed the lives of two American soldiers. North Korea alsomade another assassination attempt on another South Korean sittingPresident (President Chun Doo-Hwan) in the year 1983 as they bombed amausoleum in Yangon where the president was visiting. The presidentsurvived, but 21 high ranking government officials lost their lives.In 1987, North Korea planted a bomb on an airplane which claimed thelives of all the 115 passengers on board. There have also beenseveral tensions on the island of Yeonpyeong, the recent one datingto the year 2010 when North Korea bombed the yellow sea killing 4people.
Chinahas been on the forefront of calming tension between the two Koreanwarring nations. For instance, it was Chinese intervention that ledto the signing of the arm justice, treaty, between South Korea andNorth Korea in the year 1953 as in an attempt to bring to calmtensions and safeguard peace on the Korean peninsula. However, theChinese view on how the war started still remains controversial. Thecommunist party labeled the war as an attempt to resist the UnitedStates of America and help North Korea.5
TheUnited States of America is among the countries that have taken sternaction against North Korea for fuelling tensions in the Koreanpeninsula. Recently the United States imposed sanctions on two NorthKorean companies after it emerged that the companies were involved inmissile proliferation. The sanctions will last for a period of twoyears during which the two companies will not be eligible for any USgovernment contracts. The US took this measure after it emerged thatthe production of missiles has been affecting the production ofelectronic and space system equipment. The US has also in the pastsanctioned North Korea due to its constant threats of launching longrange missiles which is against the United Nations resolutions. NorthKorea has been in the recent past been honing their missile makingtechnology. It is alleged that the country launched a satellite intoorbit that conducts tests on its missile technology. Additionally,North Korea is believed to have nuclear weapons that can reach theUnited States mainland. The nuclear weapons are tested undergroundand the latest tests were conducted in the year 2013.6
Thetensions between South Korea and North Korea have been in existencefor over half a century. The tensions have been contained in the pastand have not resulted into any warfare between the two countries.However, the recent tensions threaten to plunge the two countriesinto war. In order to avert a war, there needs to be a lastingresolution. The necessary organizations, including the United Nationsand other interested parties should intervene to find a lastingsolution to this menace. North Korea seems to be the country that isfueling this feud and as such, its leaders should be held accountablefor their actions. There exist various world bodies like theInternational Criminal Court at The Hague that can handle suchleaders who do not respect the rule of law and constantly breaks theresolutions set out by the United Nations. If this issue is notaddressed urgently, we might see a full blown war between the twocountries and with North Korea reportedly being in possession ofnuclear weapons the war may have far reaching effects.
Herald,The. 2012. `JCS Warns Against N.K. Provocation`. Koreaherald.Com. http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20151007001090.
MailOnline,. 2015. `S. Korea Plans `Harsh Price` For N.Korea, Accused OfLandmine Attack`.
YonhapNews Agency,. 2015. `U.S. Imposes Sanctions On 2 N. Korea Firms ForMissile Technology Proliferation`.http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2015/10/01/0401000000AEN20151001000200315.html.
YonhapNews Agency,. 2015. `Envoy Says China`s Intervention In Korean WarSafeguarded Peace`.http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2015/10/01/72/0301000000AEN20151001004400315F.html.
1 Herald, The. 2012. `JCS Warns Against N.K. Provocation`. Koreaherald.Com. http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20151007001090.
2 Mail Online,. 2015. `S. Korea Plans `Harsh Price` For N.Korea, Accused Of Landmine Attack`. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3192103/South-Korea-accuses-North-Korea-planting-landmines-maimed-two-soldiers-patrolling-volatile-border-threatens-make-Pyongyang-pay-harsh-price.html.
3 Herald, The. 2012. `JCS Warns Against N.K. Provocation`. Koreaherald.Com. http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20151007001090.
4 Herald, The. 2012. `JCS Warns Against N.K. Provocation`. Koreaherald.Com. http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20151007001090.
5 Yonhap News Agency,. 2015. `Envoy Says China`s Intervention In Korean War Safeguarded Peace`. http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2015/10/01/72/0301000000AEN20151001004400315F.html.
6 Yonhap News Agency,. 2015. `U.S. Imposes Sanctions On 2 N. Korea Firms For Missile Technology Proliferation`. http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2015/10/01/0401000000AEN20151001000200315.html.