Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Resolution

Max Berryman, Staff Writer

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New Year’s is a time for change and a time to start a new with a resolution. Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea, has a resolution of his own, one that could abolish the delicate political landscape that 2017 has given us. On the first day of this year, a short statement was given by Kim Jong Un stating that he’d like to start a dialogue with South Korea and to lower tensions by proclaiming that North Korea will be more responsible with its nuclear arms. This open dialogue with South Korea hasn’t happened for nearly two years; besides small discussions for emergency. In regards to North Korea and their nukes, Kim Jong Un said that in 2018 he will work on bolstering and further expanding upon nuclear arms.

It has also been recently said that North Korea will send athletes to the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. South Korea will send delegates to the games to discuss many things affecting the relations between the two countries. This showcase of athletic ability for their countries will mean far more now that tensions are so high. With such a surprising statement being given, many people have had a lot to say about it.

Reactions to this ranged from a brighter outlook to sheer mistrust. The neighbor of North Korea, South Korea, said that they were eager to speak with delegates of North Korea and to essentially work things out between the two countries. Although, U.S. experts say that this is a way for North Korea to have South Korea turn their backs on us.

The U.S. and South Korea are in the middle of trying to put sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear arms. Kim Jong Un within his New Year’s speech said that he has a button on his desk that could send nukes if he is threatened or provoked. Donald Trump took to Twitter after this speech to say that he also had a button and that his was bigger.

Whether people trust North Korea or not, Kim Jong Un would wasn’t so responsible back in April of 2017 when a North Korean missile hit their own city. News of how populated the city was after being hit by the missle or whether the city was even populated at all has yet to be released by the tight-lipped North Korean government. The other promise, negotiating with South Korea, has seemed to have been going well so far. Discussions seem to have alluded to some success with the North and South Koreas marching under one flag at the opening ceremony of the Olympics. An ice hockey team was put together by the two creating a joint team to compete, to the dismay of South Korean athletes. Progress had moved at a faster than expected rate with short talks starting on January 1st to long meetings discussing a unified Olympic team by January 18th.

With this unexpected change, teachers and students were asked whether they were hopeful or a bit cynical of the conversations between North and South Korea. When asked, Ms. Marcolina said, “I am a bit cynical, and how couldn’t I be; he is a dictator. Although, I do think it’s a step in the right direction, and that all eyes will be on the 2018 Olympics.”

Freshman, Henri Prevost said, “I think Kim Jong Un does want to unite the Koreas. If that isn’t possible, he’d want another country to interact with since their policy of isolationism hasn’t been working out for them.” Junior, Brendan Eder commented, “I’m pretty skeptical. I’m suspicious of North Korea wanting to join with South Korea after so many years of trying to hurt them.” With many mixed opinions on this topic, the world may just have to get its answers by waiting to see what happens in the upcoming months.

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Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Resolution