Buffer zones

Security Council Summit on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament
UN Photo/Mark Garten

Historically, China and Russia have resisted the United Nations whenever it’s tried to mess with North Korea. According to America, this is because they’re both trying too hard to defend their “problem child.”

The trend started in 1950, where China condemned UN action during the Korean War. Decades later, Resolution 1718 rolled out in response to North Korea’s 2006 nuclear test. It  called for a ban on imports and exports to the country. As it happens, China was much more lax in enforcing this than others. Amidst the Great Hacking Fiasco of 2014 (unofficial name), the Security Council held a briefing on the human rights crisis in North Korea. China was against this briefing from the start. In 2015, the Council faced a similar problem.

“This is a serious issue!” America asserted. “We need to do something about this guy. I know that holding another human rights meeting isn’t gonna solve anything overnight, but it’s the best we’ve got right now.” He turned to the other members of the Security Council expectantly. “Right?”

“Absolutely not,” China said without skipping a beat.

Russia was smiling. “Denied!”

America stared at them. “… Okay, but… Why? Why. Whyyyy? Why?? Why? Why?!” America repeated this cry at various vocal volumes, frustrated and exasperated and making sure to add in very short pauses in between for dramatic effect. “Why?”

“The United Nations has no business investigating human rights issues,” China said. “We need to focus on peace and security—”

“The United Nations has no business ghhsfgghh—?!” America’s voice went all high pitched. “If we don’t care about human rights, who will?”

“There are plenty of organizations who do, America,” said China flatly.

“No, okay. Yeah, yeah, that’s fine. That’s good.” The United States paused to compose himself. “Well, guess what? It doesn’t even matter because the majority is in favor of this.”

China said, “But we have veto power.”

“Oooh, what’s that?” America flew forward in his seat. “We can have a procedural vote where your veto power don’t mean shit? Oooh!”

“America, please,” England urged. “Look, you know they’re probably not going to be able to stop it, right? All this drama is just making you look like a big ass.”

“That’s part of his charm,” Russia said in jest.

“Thank you!” America shouted, more fed up than flattered. “So, ignoring the only two people in this room who are awful enough to sympathize with a dictatorship… the rest of us can now have a perfectly normal and productive conversation about human rights.”

Of course, Russia and China thought there was something very paradoxical about the comment.

***

Months later the world’s attention would turn from human rights to nuclear proliferation as North Korea celebrated 2016 by detonating a “hydrogen bomb.”

When the United Nations Security Council came together to decide on the perfect punishment, America would be pleased to find China supporting the proposed sanctions. Luckily for the Council, stopping a potential nuclear war does happen to fit China’s idea of acceptable UN responsibilities.

Notes

This was based on a somewhat recent event. Poor China didn’t really succeed in stopping the meeting. There’s always next time, right?

The Great Hacking Fiasco refers to when North Korea allegedly hacked Sony and threatened retaliation if the company ever put The Interview, a fictional comedy wherein Kim Jong-un gets assassinated, in theaters. America hacked first, though.

It may have seemed like I was targeting China with this, but I always try to keep my writing from being one-sided. What Russia and China (and probably others) found funny about America’s closing remarks was that the US has historically supported a number of authoritarian regimes for the sake of furthering American interests (e.g., fighting Communism.) Now, dictators and authoritarians are not exactly the same things, but the point remains.

Author: Allison Black

Allison is an author, nerd, and international relations major who does not get paid to make bad political jokes--yet. When she's not writing or gushing about global affairs, she's playing video games. One day she will have a Ph.D., speak Korean fluently, and command an army of chihuahuas.

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