Since the death of his father, Kim Jong-Un has taken the reins of North Korean leadership. But he has also been heavily featured in the Western media spotlight. First, his rumored death on twitter caused a huge stir. Now, Kim has declared that North Korea will no longer test nuclear weapons and allow inspectors to come into the nuclear complexes to examine the activities within them, in exchange for food aid for North Korea. With this, North Korea may be ready to turn a new diplomatic leaf with the U.S., but will they keep true to their word? Their past says otherwise, but the United States is taking the correct steps to encourage cooperation under the new leadership in North Korea.
North Korea is infamous for going against sanctions, testing nuclear weapons, and uranium enrichment. However, under the new rule, Kim has not seemed to be as reluctant to work with the United States. It is time for the United States to try and make more diplomatic inroads with North Korea in hopes that it will create a change within the North Korean government. Kim has not taken a certain stance on how he is going to approach relations with other nations, and his agreement to freeze nuclear works seems to be a step in the right direction. Kim is nothing like his father, and there have been reasons to believe that change is on the way.
By freezing nuclear works, North Korea has already begun positive change. This is radically different from how North Korea was while under rule by Kim Jong-Il, who liked to test missiles during holidays like Independence Day, and let talks of ceasing the creation of nuclear weapons fall through. Kim Jong-un sat through the talks and has made the agreement to stop testing nuclear weapons, and is allowing the United States to help with distribution of the aid. This is dramatically different from how Kim Jong-il handled talked with the United States. This has to be taken into consideration when considering other ways to reach out to North Korea. The country is in shambles and is allowing the United States to assist a time of need.
It seemed like Kim Jong-Un would be a clone of his father and the regime, but so far, there is no clear signal that this will be the case. The threat to retaliate against South Korea is a little reminder of the past, but this seems to be irrelevant now that they have agreed to cooperate with the United States. Moves towards diplomacy could be in the near future if the U.S. continues to increase talks with North Korea. This may be the incentive a leader like Kim Jong-Un needs. He is younger, and less antiquated than his father. Kim Jong-un may be looking to modernize North Korea in ways his father never would.
Regardless of whether Kim Jong-Un is moving towards a more modern nation, the move to freeze the testing of nuclear weapons will be beneficial to peacemaking all around. This will definitely be something to keep a close watch on as Kim Jong-Un continues to surprise us with his political moves.
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