Thursday, May 22, 2008

North Korea welcomes U.S. food aid
This article is related to another article that was posted a while back on the United States' intentions to send food to help aid North Korea's shortage. The US will send food and aid to North Korea and as it was accepted by the government and the people, the Bush administration made sure to distance this event from their label under the "Axis of Evil".
It is an interesting turn of events that both countries are working together to better the people rather than thinking in strictly diplomatic and political terms. This action might purely be a humanitarian issue, but it seems difficult to separate any actions between the United States and North Korea without thinking about their international relationship. I believe that even though the United States has not made any comments about any reciprocal action, that this might be a political tool in order to influence the actions of Kim Jong-Il and North Korea

1 comment:

Tayler Lofquist said...

I think there is a possibility that there are veiled political motives in our government giving food to North Korea. It may act as a symbol of potential cooperation between the nations, or show that our country acts not solely to assert its own power, but to use its resources to do good works. On another hand, by not allowing the North Korean government to have any real power in distributing the food, we may also be giving a sign to Kim Jong-il that the United States has power over his government, and that we will not allow the North Koreans to control our actions and resources.

The reaction that can come from this humanitarian effort may also go in several directions. If accepted positively, the North Koreans may indeed see the United States as a country that they may trust in the future. If they emphasize the fact that we are not trusting Kim Jong-il's government to give food to it's own people, their resentment towards the United States may only be worsened.

In the end though, I personally do not believe that there is anything political to be gained or lost for the United States in this effort. Even after we donated food to his nation three years ago, Kim Jong-il tested nuclear weapons against the wishes of the United States and has pursued a nuclear weapons program that has led to even further tension. Additionally, the propaganda in North Korea is anti-American to an extreme, and I feel it is unlikely that this long-sown sentiment would change much in the short term.

This is not to downplay the importance of this effort. The people of North Korea are suffering and are not able to help themselves, and I believe the United States is doing the right think in making this donation. I just don't see us gaining much political capital from our efforts.