Published: 2023-09-13 (last update: 2023-09-23)
We have heard of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s “self-imposed isolation” and the state has been incessantly referred to as a “hermit kingdom”, but what is the root of this idea? What we have in reality is a state that has, in the course of its history, attempted to form peaceful relations, to establish travel, and to usher in the signing of a new peace treaty for the cause of reunification. On the other hand, the United States, the world’s paramount military aggressor, and its front group the “United” Nations has rebuffed these overtures, introducing limitations on travel for the purposes of producing a skewed image of a “hostile rogue state” incapable of negotiations, while at the same time escalating tensions.
The idea that north Korea is both so adamant on isolationism and preventing free travel that it must be stopped at all costs, and at the same time that north Korea is making so much money from allowing laborers to travel to neighboring countries that travel restrictions must be put in place (and that in addition travel restrictions relating to planes, ships, and embassies must be put in place), is preposterous. Isolation is brought about by firstly hostile nations which have at one point or another threatened to or succeeded in attacking the DPRK, by the U.S. which perpetrated a genocidal campaign in the Korean War, or by the (U.S. puppet state) Republic of Korea whose military is under de-jure control of America in“wartime." Sanctions have demonstrated that isolation is not a choice made simply to pursue “authoritarian” ends but rather a direct campaign by the UN, the U.S., and puppet Korea forced upon the DPRK.
United Nations resolution 1718 in 2006 created the new “Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718”. This council oversees travel restrictions, an “arms embargo” (which restricts petroleum imports, a vital resource in an already poor country), asset freezes (after acknowledging that the majority of the economy is centralized), and general restrictions on nuclear proliferation.
United Nations resolution 2270, along with introducing several debilitating sanctions then obfuscating their effect on the civilian market, prohibits the creation of further embassies or consulate services, and puts severe restrictions on travel methods from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea including planes or sea vessels.
In a ‘fact sheet’ regarding UN Security Council resolution 2397 (2017), it is specified the requirement of the total return of overseas laborers (which the UN roughly estimates numbered at least 100,000) to the DPRK (keep in mind that the UN fully acknowledges these workers were there legally).
We have seen at every point that the United Nations has decreased the right of travel for citizens of the DPRK. They have done this on the basis of acknowledging that the state allows for the travel of workers and students to non-hostile nations (mainly China and Russia which both border the DPRK). It is true that one cannot cross the DMZ, the border between north and south Korea, but this remains for citizens of either side. The division is the result of an illegitimate line drawn by the US and an armistice treaty meaning that the north and south are still at war. To reiterate, both the DPRK and ROK enforce the border equally.
It is ignored that the United States, the nation that constantly performs mock-invasions along the DMZ and which killed millions of north Koreans in the Korean War in a bombing campaign—never mind Amerika’s willingness to ensue a nuclear attack or the evidence of biological warfare—refused to obey the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) even after NK joined (under the assumption that them joining would remove the threat of U.S. nuclear attack, although the US still refused to nullify their claim to first strike; the US and NK jointly proposed the Agreed Framework which would have them obey its terms in return for the US normalizing relations, that is before the Bush administration did away with it), which prompted them to ignore it since the main issue was the threat of attack from the US. The United States has refused to publicly apologize for their massacres upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki and is the only nation to ever use "nuclear weaponry" at that scale, but god forbid the DPRK forms even a tiny bit of deterrence.
In the context of deterrence, the development of nuclear weaponry has done a great deal to take the strain of military spending created by yearly US-ROK(-Japan) mock invasions (these are the escalations!), which allows the alleviation of the economic depression brought about by the US (and western sanctions in general) and which altered the line on the role of militarism from Songun (military first) to Byungjin (dual development [of the market and military]) (and allowed for the National Defense Commission to be dissolved and replaced with the State Affairs Commission, which rather than focusing entirely on military spending has been integrated into various economic and leadership roles). To quote David E. Sanger ("White House and national security correspondent" and member of the U.S. state adjacent Council on Foreign Relations):
“The fear is not that [the DPRK] would launch a pre-emptive attack on the West Coast; that would be suicidal, and if the North’s 33-year-old leader has demonstrated anything in his five years in office, he is all about survival. But if [the DPRK] has the potential ability to strike back, it will shape every decision Mr. Trump and his successors make”
There goes the game!
- Paula Hancocks and Jung-Eun Kim (2013-09-17). "South Korean soldiers fired hundreds of shots at man swimming to North Korea" CNN.
- Derek Ford (2022-08-29). "Massive "war games" underway as U.S. practices invasion of North Korea" Liberation News.
- Jeff Kaye (2018-04-03). "Report: U.S. Dropped Plague-infected Fleas on North Korea in March 1952" Medium.
- Stephen Gowans (2018). Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom (pp. 207-213). Baraka Books.
- "Obama will not apologize for Hiroshima attack, he tells Japanese TV" (2016-05-22). The Guardian.
- David Sanger (2017-07-04). "What Can Trump Do About North Korea? His Options Are Few and Risky" The New York Times.