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Global Education

Tension between the Koreas

By Daoxu Ye and Laura Haime
Published: December 2010

While South Korean troops practiced drills by the water near North Korea, the neighboring country fired several artillery shells on Thursday, November 11th.
In recent years the tension between North and South Korea has been escalating at a rapid pace.
Before the most recent incident between them , North Korea sent a warning stating that “it would not tolerate firing in what is regarded as its territorial waters.
South Korea proceeded with its training but fired shells in the other direction. In response, North Korea fired shells at the island of Yeonpyeong, and South Korea retaliated just as quickly.
In the end, there were five fatalities, and four of them were South Korean The actions of the North were condemned by many nations.
Many speculate that this attack was used to give Kim Jong-il’s son and future successor, Kim Jong-un, experience as a leader.
History teacher Sean Turley agrees with this conjecture. ““Kim Jong-il’s son is being positioned as a leader, and they need to give him experience. The attack on South Korea served as that experience that would show his new position and power in the world.
Jong-il is currently ranked the equivalent of a four star US general.
Kim Jong-nam, his brother, was the original successor to Kim Jong-il, but after a failed attempt to secretly visit Japan’s Disneyland in May 2001, he is believed to no longer have his father’s favor.
History teacher Deborah Linder believes “it would be best if they could unite again, because they’re all family.
One might ask why nobody is doing anything in order to end this situation quickly but many people, including Turley, believe “countries around the world can’t take any steps to stop North Korea. As long as North Korea has China watching over them in a ‘ËœBig Brother Watching You’ way, North Korea is protected from attack.
The validity of this theory is widely debated. China certainly protected North Korea during World War Two because the communist nations that emerged were condemned by the other nations of the world.
Now, however, China is experiencing its own tension with North Korea. including a border dispute over Baekdu-Changbai Mountain. Some people in North Korea who desire to escape to a better life journey through the border shared with China.
The Chinese government also hopes that North Korea will undergo economic reform for the better of the region.
With the current situation at hand, however, it seems unlikely that it will happen soon. Although improbable the Chinese government hopes that the Koreas will reunite.
For the moment, regardless of the actions China might take on Korea, many still believe that the Korean government does not have intentions to worsen, or even continue these attacks.
“I don’t think that North Korea actually has any intentions to go to war. It’s portraying its strengths while in a state of weakness, Turley said.
Unfortunately, many have stereotyped the two Koreas and categorized them as the “good Korea and the “bad Korea.
The citizens of North Korea are often blamed for the actions of their government. Although North Korea is stated to be a country based on communism, there is a huge gap between the splendor in which the select wealthy live in and the squalor of the average citizen.
The government’s actions do not depict the goals of the individual people themselves.

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