I am doing research for my ethics and international relations class and would like some feedback. My research area is North Korea and is pertaining to both its acts against human rights as well as its nuclear arms program. The United Nations has been investigating North Korea based on its human rights conditions and have found patterns of abuse. With that being said, world powers had been focused primarily on the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons program. From viewpoint of the United States, as well as the world, should world leaders put the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons as the most important, or is it morally and ethically wrong not to help better the conditions of which the North Korean population is living through now?
It would be greatly appreciated for any comments, questions, or further research suggestions that anyone may have for me that would help in my research.
I think a discussion on whether the UN should work toward improving the conditions of North Korean citizens should at the very least discuss whether doing so is plausible. What could feasibly be done to improve the lives of ordinary North Koreans? Are there lessons to be learned about such interventions from the past?
In regards to your basic question about the effects of nuclear non-proliferation vs. humanitarian efforts, I think it would be helpful to look at the effect sanctions have had in the effort to stop nuclear armament! Have sanctions (put in place to bring the North Korean nuclear program to a halt) hurt the people of North Korea?
What I'm trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to say is that in working to keep nuclear weapons from North Korea, sanctions have possibly made living conditions for North Korean citizens worse. This is a really interesting dilemma!