Photo by Uri Tours
It was only a matter of time before North Korea got an h-bomb, and after that it was only a matter of time before everyone killed each other.
Model United Nations meetings were supposed to be intelligent and highly organized simulations of real-world diplomatic problem-solving during times of crisis. Not this one.
It started like any other. The “General Assembly” was set up like a college classroom, with long desks divided into sections according to geographic region. During the lull of the pre-session, countries walked between rows and through aisles to patronize one another for about fifteen minutes.
America had gravitated over to Asia to talk regional security with South Korea (“Hey, I’ve got a THAAD that needs deploying somewhere.” “Don’t wink like that. It’s weird.”) as North Korea glared daggers at them from three seats down in a chair that was rather close to China. The rest of Asia tried to keep their conversations pleasant while purposefully ignoring Japan. There was some kind of choir of angry squawking coming from Europe; nobody questioned it but everyone made sure to avoid it. That is, everyone except Canada, who didn’t know any better. The rest of the Americas were just glad their northern neighbor was somewhere else. The Middle East was, much like Europe, broken up into little groups of friends that didn’t even like each other that much, and Israel was nowhere to be found. Australia had slipped into the mess that was Europe because she didn’t want to look like a loser sitting alone. Africa was pretty mild.
“Was that supposed to be a pick-up line?” South Korea asked. “It needs work.”
America bent forward so that his upper body was at a sensual right angle and he propped himself up with his forearm on the table. “What was wrong?” He asked. “Was it the delivery?”
“It was everything.”
“Japan liked it.”
“I said it was topical.” On the other side of America, Japan was doodling on her notepad.
America made himself comfortable in the seat between them. “You also said you knew a certain spot where you’d love for me to deploy my THAAD.”
“Akita,” She said. “Strategically, it makes sense.”
America leaned in. “I can keep making bad jokes. I’m thinking for the next one I want to utilize the phrase ‘pivot to Asia.’ Or, we can try guessing the scenario.”
South Korea said, “We’ll probably have to solve some hunger crisis.”
“Maybe a terrorist group will get ahold of WMDs and launch an attack against America,” Japan suggested.
America laughed and looked at her. She wasn’t smiling. He wet his lips. “Well, in the words of the great Nicki Minaj, ‘I wish a bitch would.'”
Just then they all caught a quick blur from the corners of their eyes. When they turned they saw the back of a head of dark, well-combed hair that beneath it concealed vigorous, communist fury.
“How did your reconnaissance mission go?” China asked once North Korea returned to their end of the row. He was a bit distracted by his Twitter–er, Weibo–feed, however.
“The United States is once again looking for an excuse to murder people in excess.”
“No surprise there,” said Russia with a little smile. “Come, sit back down. We can take bets on what the crisis situation will be.”
“A massive natural disaster somewhere,” China said as he Liked picture after picture of baby pandas. He didn’t even catch North Korea’s reflexive scowl. “Probably. Or another economic disaster like in ’08.”
Russia folded one leg over the other before straightening out her dress. “I bet one of my nervous little neighbors wants to prepare for a Russian invasion of the Baltics.”
China asked, “Are you sure you didn’t submit a scenario like that yourself?”
“Of course not. I’d suggest something a little more challenging.”
“I submitted one,” North Korea told them.
“Oh, I’d like to guess.” China finally set down the phone. “North Korea makes a friend? North Korea gets rich? North Korea finds happiness?”
North Korea bit the inside of his cheek before smiling. “No. It was ‘China remembers he’s powerless against his smaller neighbor whom he fails to pacify, and thus proves time after time to be an embarrassment to the international community.'”
Russia’s jaw dropped and she clasped her hands together. “Fiesty! How do you respond, China?”
“And embarrassment, is that right?” China was sneering.
Russia asked, “But doesn’t he have a point?”
“Both of you ought to wipe those ridiculous smiles off your faces.”
North Korea, so, so pleased with himself (as ever), was nearly snickering. “Or what?”
China’s hand twitched for the cigarette case he knew he couldn’t touch.”Would anyone like to hear the scenario I submitted?” He asked in a raised voice. “A giant meteor falls from the sky and obliterates China, instantaneously putting him out of his misery!”
North Korea gave him a look. “Why do you always have to be so overdramatic?”
Fifteen minutes flew by.
Germany was the moderator that session and he figured that watching everyone bicker in sad attempts at diplomacy was much better than actually being one of the countries sadly attempting diplomacy. Sitting near the podium at the front of the room, he could comfortably watch all of the drama as nothing more than a distant, indifferent spectator. He’d become Switzerland for a day.
Germany stole a glance at his watch and stood, back straight like a board. Grabbing the hat he walked to the podium, cleared his throat, and leaned into the mic. “Everyone,” he said, voice booming throughout the room. “I’ll be announcing the scenario now.” Closing his eyes, he reached into the hat and shuffled the little white strips around again just for extra measure. After pulling a strip out, he opened his eyes and read it first in his head. If anyone was looking, they would have noticed his thick eyebrows lift, something flicker across his eyes, and the corner of mouth twitch in what could have been the beginnings of either a smile or a frown.
He hesitated for a few seconds. He contemplated clearing his throat again. He wondered if he should speak slowly or drop this on them quickly. He questioned the sanity of whoever submitted this scenario. And then he announced it in that same strong voice, “North Korea has developed a functioning hydrogen bomb and now has the ability to successfully reach the continental United States with nuclear missiles.”