Bilateral: Apex

Sweat formed on his brow as he stared into the faces of the most powerful countries on earth. To them, he was just spewing that tired, angry rhetoric. To him, he was challenging warlords.

“I want to believe that the United Nations stands for peace, but I cannot. Reflected on every page of its history is the story of national division stained with misfortunes and pains that our people suffered over the past seven decades.”

He found strength in his thundering heart and inspiration from the resentment in his enemies’ eyes.

“This organization is corrupt from within. If its leaders are not willing to fight this greed and corruption, I promise you that I will fight it. I will fight it with everything I am, and I will do what you have failed to, no matter the cost.”

***

As the room emptied for the evening, Vietnam caught him on her way to the door.

“You’re as naive as ever.”

He didn’t look at her.

“And why am I a fool this time, Vietnam?”

Things between them weren’t always so uncomfortable and they were once friends. But over time, their ambitions and ideals clashed and soon they realized that East Asia and Indochina were two very different places.

“You want to reunify so badly…”

North Korea scowled.

“That is not your issue. Stay out of this.”

“I don’t wish to be part of it,” Vietnam said. “I only want to warn you, for your own sake.”

“Warn me? How considerate.” He began to storm off, but her firm voice stopped him.

“Communism died in Germany and democracy buried it in a deep grave. Saigon fell, and socialism is all I have known since.”

North Korea turned back slowly and saw her staring at him, eyes cold and sardonic. When she spoke, her tone matched.

“Korea will only have one government. Do you really think they will let it be yours?


Notes

Indochina is a region in Southeast Asia comprised of: Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos,  Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Vietnam had plans to become a major power in Indochina, whereas North Korea lacked similar regional ambitions. So, you can think of Vietnam and North Korea as friends who started with similar dreams but ended up drifting apart because their lives took two very different paths.

Saigon was the capital of South Vietnam. When it fell to North Vietnam during the Vietnam War, it was turned into  Ho Chi Minh City and became the capital of a unified, socialist Vietnam.

Bits of North Korea’s monlogue were taken from the DPRK’s actual UNGA speech last year. You can read the full speech in all of its glory here.

Author: Allison Black

Allison is an author, nerd, and international relations major who loves bad political jokes. 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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