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Response #1 (NW)

The North Korean government controls every aspect of their citizens lives and is known for having a lot of human rights violations. Traveling within the country has its limits, you cannot receive any frequencies from outside the government, even access to information is limited my the government. Everything protected by the first amendment in the US like freedom of religion, assembly, association and free expression are by no means protected in North Korea. If you talk out against your government not only will you have to take on the consequences, but potentially your entire family.  They have labor camps they send all their political prisoners and many that try and escape because emigration is illegal sometimes with a sentence of torture and even death.  

Along with violating human rights North Korea loves to develop weapons and test them a bunch, 64 times in between 2009-2016. The US has countless times tried to intervene this weapons developments with legislation yet to no a vile as North Korea continues. North Korea doesn’t care to deal with anyone else besides maybe china as it continues its policy of juche. They have no interest joining the UN and no interest in changing their ways of treating their own citizens or weapons development and i think this will continue until North Korea falls.

Response #2 (AH)

North Korea is arguably one of the most repressive countries in the world based on their policies socially, economically, and politically as well as laws that confine them within the nation. This totalitarian style government uses threats of execution, imprisonment and forced labor to ensure cooperation from its citizens. Punishment within the system extends to offenders’ parents, siblings, and children, which in turn pressures citizens to further conform. Their denial of basic human rights has caused the world to take notice and be called into action to attempt to address how the North Korean regime operates. The Human Freedom initiative has focused heavily on the awareness and understanding of these violations, which includes advocating for US policy to support denuclearization as well as the U.S, being a safe haven for North Korean escapees. Supporting refugees is a vital step in the process of change for North Korea. It is the U.S. and our allies responsibilities to take measures to address the way people in North Korea are treated, or nothing will change.

Weapons developments on the other hand are just another aspect of the volatile situation in North Korea. Kim Jong-un has “pledged to expand the countries nuclear arsenal and military potential” and has been testing and unveiling a list of new ballistic nuclear missiles as well as submarine launched missiles. This warhead that is believed to be able to deliver a nuclear missile to anywhere in the US. In September 2021 the top US official on North Korea called for a cease of production of nuclear missiles aa well as a request to engage in an open dialogue to come to a resolution regarding their nuclear programs. He also made it evident the U.S. has no hostile intent towards the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. With the recent developments and news of tests coming out of the DPRK, their perception seems to be we are participating in a “double standard”, in that the US will continue to test and manufacture the same weapons North Korea is attempting to develop. All in all, this cyclical process of the DPRK developing and testing missiles, then the U.S. responding with sanctions or penalties will only continue to occur unless fundamental policy changes are made on both sides.