Keegan Pohl

By Tommy Dannenfelser, VA

For more than 60 years, North Korea and the United States have had an intensely hostile relationship. Just this morning, North Korea directed a threat towards the United States in the form of a test missile launch. This is especially disturbing considering that today marks Independence Day for the United States. This is just one of many incidents caused by North Korea in its intensely hostile relationship with the United States. Since the mutual ceasefire in 1953, North Korea has isolated itself from the international community. The American response to this threat has always been an assertive military presence in the Korean Peninsula. Missouri CONA Delegate Keegan Pohl contends military strength has failed to achieve peace, and it is time to attempt diplomacy with North Korea.

Pohl presented this controversial approach to the U.S.-North Korea conflict in Proposal No. 501. Pohl says it is time for the conflict to be resolved through negotiations, rather than with military force. His proposal seeks that both countries agree to diminish their own nuclear arsenals. As Pohl pointed out, North Korea has as many as 21 nuclear warheads. The proposal went even further to eliminate the Demilitarized Zone, suggesting that this “tension zone” would be unnecessary with a more stable North Korea.

Pohl’s proposal became the subject of a passionate debate in First Committee on Monday. Michigan’s Grace McKnight argued that North Korea would not agree to such a truce. On the other hand, Skyler Lynch, also from Michigan, praised the proposal, saying, “Let’s extend the olive branch!” Relations with North Korea proved to be a controversial topic, as debate continued back and forth. While the proposal did not move onto Second Committee, North Korea continues to be the “most urgent and dangerous threat” to the United States, according to Secretary of Defense James Mattis. With one misstep, current tensions could erupt into a military conflict. And in the light of North Korea’s threats this morning, this long-lived hostility will continue between the North Korea and the United States.