TOPIC BRIEFS

Strengthening measures towards general and complete nuclear disarmament in North Korea

Dealing with the current situation of the use of land mine explosives as well as the implementation of measures to prevent them

Nuclear weapons are devices designed to release energy in an explosive manner as a result of nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, or a combination of the two processes. Fission weapons are commonly referred to as atomic bombs. Fusion weapons are referred to as thermonuclear bombs or hydrogen bombs. The use of Nuclear bombs can impact the country being targeted by several ways and for several years. The first recorded use of a nuclear bomb in battle, was on august 6th and august 9th during the second world war, the bombs immediately devastated their targets. Over the next two to four months, the acute effects of the atomic bombings killed between 90,000 and 146,000 people in Hiroshima and 39,000 and 80,000 people in Nagasaki; roughly half of the deaths in each city occurred on the first day. Once the world saw how powerful these weapons actually were, concerns about the dreadful effects of such weapons drove governments to negotiate arms control agreements such as the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty of 1963 and the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of 1968. However not all countries agreed to these treaties and in fact, north Korea withdrew From the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in January 2003 and is not a party to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and has conducted six increasingly sophisticated nuclear tests since 2006. The DPRK is not a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention and is believed to possess a large chemical weapons program. Despite being a state party to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and Geneva Protocol, evidence suggests North Korea may maintain an offensive biological weapons program. On 12 June 2018, Kim met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore. At the summit, the DPRK pledged “to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” The second summit between the two leaders, held from 27-28 February 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam, did not yield an agreement between the two countries or any progress toward denuclearization. A post-summit stall in diplomatic talks was punctuated by North Korea's resumption of short-range ballistic missile tests in May 2019. These were followed by a series of Short-Range Ballistic Missiles tests in July and August 2019. Ever since 1945, nuclear weapons have only become more deadly and lethal, and with the development of technology and science, researchers are finding new ways in which these nuclear weapons effects can be enlarged. Therefore this is an imminent and pressing problem as the country of north Korea, being separated from the rest of the more developed countries with nuclear capabilities, by not being a part of the several treaties or agreements, puts us all at risk of nuclear warfare and the never-ending possibility of a large scale war using even more powerful weapons than those used in 1945.

Landmines are explosive devices designed to blow up when triggered by pressure or a tripwire. Furthermore, these devices are typically placed below the surface of the ground in order to be hidden and not seen. Therefore, if a person walks onto that landmine, the pressure from standing on it will trigger the bomb to explode. While there are over 350 different types of landmines, they can generally be broken down into two main categories. The first is Anti-personnel or AP mines while the second are known as Antitank or AT mines. While both play out a similar function, they are a couple key differences between them. While AP mines are typically larger, this also means that they contain more than double or triple the number of explosives than AT mines. The general purpose of using these landmines began in the late 20th century and were used in warfare. During the Iraq war in the 1980s, the opposing armies buried around 26 million land mines along their common border. The first concern with landmines is the unintended consequences after the conflict would have ended. This is because as time passes, the location of landmines is often forgotten even by the party who planted them, leaving these mines as a danger to the lives of many. In addition to that, insurgents coming into these minefields can harvest the mines and sell them on the black market.  In fact, there are currently more than 100 million landmines located in around 70 nations worldwide and have aided in the deaths of over 1 million people since 1975, when it all first began. With all the above considered, measures must be taken in order to solve the current situation of the already implemented landmines as well as implement other measures to prevent the use of them in the future.

Strengthening measures towards the development of biological weapons

Out of the 500 million deaths from infectious diseases in the past century, several tens of thousands of these deaths were caused due to the deliberate release of pathogens and toxins. This is also known as biological weaponry. According to the WHO, biological weapons are microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria’s, or other toxins that are produced and released deliberately to cause disease and the death in humans, animals or plants. Throughout different points in history, the general idea of biological weaponry was implemented to increase the already dire impacts wars had on the people. For example, during the first world war, the German Army developed and discovered anthrax, cholera and wheat fungus to use them as biological weapons. This helped Germany stay ahead in the war by causing the deaths of millions of French, British and Russian troops in attempt to limit the impact of their army with the hopes of winning the war. Although Germany did not win the war, the biological weapons still had an impact on the lives of many. This is mainly due to the fact that healthcare and medicine wasn’t as developed back then, and diseases were spread more easily. Nonetheless, as time passes, the development of biological weaponry is only becoming easier and easier and more attractive to major global powers. This is mainly due to the fact that biological weapons are more cost effective, time saving and just overall more appealing to those wanting to negatively impact the lives of many. Furthermore, it is also important not to forget that with globalization and the overall development and growth of technology, biological weaponry is still at its peak and can be further developed and increase the negative impact it has. In addition, due to the fact that biological weaponry can spread more easily, the use of biological weapons can lead to major global and worldwide conflicts and pandemics, affecting the lives of many all over the world and not just one specific region. Therefore, it is also important to not forget that the use of biological weaponry should be treated the same as physical weaponry, as biological weapons are weapons of mass destruction as well. Thus, biological weapons are more effective than regular physical weapons in one way or another. With all the above considered, measures must be taken in order to prevent and limit the development and use of biological weapons for the safety of millions worldwide.