©2018 by polity.

  • Alex Wok

North Korea

POLITY'S GUIDE TO: BLACK & WHITE is a format we use for issues with no clear political affiliation. These issues often pose very broad questions, & are thus impossible to convey a 'guide-to', which represents the majority of opinion.

Accordingly, arguments for these issues will be conveyed on both extremes & fittingly, be presented in black & white as opposed to our classic blue & red. This is done to illustrate the difficulty in negotiating the correct course of action in relation to this issue.

Because of this, at Polity we don’t think that these issues are as black and white as presented. Thus, Polity strongly urges the reader to find their own grey area in a similar fashion to our normal ‘blue & red’ guides.


  • A 2016 Kirby report suggested that North Korea conducts activities against its own citizens that can be regarded as human rights abuses.

  • With China being North Korea's closest non-hostile neighbouring state, it is also North Korea's most important ally both economically, & diplomatically. As a charter member of the United Nations, China has often used its veto power to protect North Korea from resolutions that would adversely affect it, making collaborative international efforts to restrain North Korea difficult. Owing to North Korea's recent actions however, China has opted not to veto some resolutions, such as economic sanctions, that adversely affect North Korea.

  • In light of the above difficulties, & with the cost of war estimated at $2 trillion, it is questionable whether military intervention is the appropriate route in dealing with the North Korean threat.


What is the appropriate way

to de-escalate tensions on

the Korean peninsula?


  1. New Republic; 'Is it Time to Intervene in North Korea?'

  2. New Republic; 'Is it Time to Intervene in North Korea?'

  3. South China Morning Post; 'The real reason China won't exert economic pressure on North Korea'

  4. The Washington Post; 'Why doesn’t South Korea have nuclear weapons? For a time, it pursued them'

  5. The Conversation; 'Human rights in North Korea: the implications of the Kirby report'

  6. The Nation; 'Trump’s Handling of North Korea Is Going to Lead Us Straight Into Nuclear Disaster'

  7. ABC; 'North Korea: Why military action will be a disaster and a patient solution is required'

  8. The New York Times; 'An Incoherent Strategy on North Korea'

  9. The Atlantic; 'How China Sees North Korea'

  10. The Atlantic; 'How China Sees North Korea'