Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

KY House District #

9,12,15

KY Senate District #

6

Department

Homeland Security Program

Abstract

Boiling Over on the Back Burner: Why Downplaying North Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions is a Dangerous Proposition

Justin Baldwin

Mentor: Dr. Ryan K. Baggett

Homeland Security Program, Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

For over sixty years, the Korean Peninsula has teetered on the brink of violence between two countries still technically at war. Since the division of Korea at the 38th parallel in 1945, a power struggle between North and South and, ultimately, Communism and Democracy has become a dangerous stalemate.

While many have downplayed the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a backwards, isolated nation with a leader thirsty for power and attention, the North has one significant advantage in international relations. Successful nuclear tests and visible advances in ballistic missile technology give the DPRK a valuable bargaining chip in international relations, military defense, and regime control over the isolated state.

While the DPRK’s weapons technology may seem crude, the simplistic design of the two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be a reminder of the potential power of nuclear weapons. With Seoul and Tokyo in the crosshairs of the Kim Jong Un regime, millions of lives are at stake if the DPRK successfully delivers a nuclear weapon. With that, if the United States and its allies were to take action against North Korea militarily, would Russia and China defend the North and launch a Third World War?

This presentation will first analyze the history of conflict on the Korean peninsula, from the early 20th century to present day. Next, this project will discuss the influence of Communism and how the DPRK’s allies, both former and current, helped it become the military threat it is today. Last, this work will examine how the United States has influenced the North to accelerate its weapons program and increase tensions in the region.

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Boiling Over on the Back Burner: Why Downplaying North Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions is a Dangerous Proposition

Boiling Over on the Back Burner: Why Downplaying North Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions is a Dangerous Proposition

Justin Baldwin

Mentor: Dr. Ryan K. Baggett

Homeland Security Program, Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

For over sixty years, the Korean Peninsula has teetered on the brink of violence between two countries still technically at war. Since the division of Korea at the 38th parallel in 1945, a power struggle between North and South and, ultimately, Communism and Democracy has become a dangerous stalemate.

While many have downplayed the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a backwards, isolated nation with a leader thirsty for power and attention, the North has one significant advantage in international relations. Successful nuclear tests and visible advances in ballistic missile technology give the DPRK a valuable bargaining chip in international relations, military defense, and regime control over the isolated state.

While the DPRK’s weapons technology may seem crude, the simplistic design of the two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be a reminder of the potential power of nuclear weapons. With Seoul and Tokyo in the crosshairs of the Kim Jong Un regime, millions of lives are at stake if the DPRK successfully delivers a nuclear weapon. With that, if the United States and its allies were to take action against North Korea militarily, would Russia and China defend the North and launch a Third World War?

This presentation will first analyze the history of conflict on the Korean peninsula, from the early 20th century to present day. Next, this project will discuss the influence of Communism and how the DPRK’s allies, both former and current, helped it become the military threat it is today. Last, this work will examine how the United States has influenced the North to accelerate its weapons program and increase tensions in the region.

 

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