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A Nuclear North Korea And America’s Imperialistic Interests

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By Rohit Sachdeva:

With a strong condemnation from G8 countries (US, Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada) on the missile activities in North Korea, Pyongyang is again faced with the hindrance in her defence conspiracies but this time the warning has come from the group of leading countries, which could force Kim Jong-un to re-think about his motives. With North Korea’s strategy being unclear but intentions understandable, the International Security Council is now planning to take some tough steps towards North Korea’s provocation.

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The North has moved two missiles on the edge, one being targeted towards the Island of Guam, which is the military base of United States of America in Korean peninsula and the other likely to have it trajectory towards Japan which has sent a shrill across Tokyo. Although this is not the first time that North Korea has launched missiles, as earlier, it has been testing some short range missiles but this time the missiles are long ranged. The others major reasons being the offensive speeches by Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s President against South Korea, blocking the entry of South Korean workers to the Keasong Industrial Complex inside the North Korea continues to pressure Seoul during South Korea’s military exercises between nations. The North Korea’s provocation started in Last December when she successfully launched a satellite into the space, which was widely viewed as showcasing another test of its long range missile technology.

Is China and Russia being diplomatic and indeed quite on this provocation which has come out as a threat to the International Security or United Nation is overestimating this? The answer lies in the bloody history of Korean War which happened after the Second world war with the victory of the allied powers. Korean War was first marked conflict of the Cold war between USSR (now Russia) and United States. Korean Peninsula was ruled by Qing dynasty, Mongolians and then by Japanese. After Japan lost World war 2 from the Allies, USSR and USA captured the Korean Peninsula and division started along the 38 parallel of Korea. The North part was taken by USSR and communism was settled in there while the South Korea was captured by United States and a democratic set up was established. During 1950, the cruel form of communism tried to destabilize the Southern part and started capturing the area. United States retaliated but due to heavy losses in World war, the Northern part dominated and tried to push United States forces to the sea but with the sudden shift, many nations joined USA in its motives to save South Korea and then forces were able to get back the Southern territory after 3 years of blood shedding war. Human rights were violated, international security code was breached and sovereignty of a nation was disrupted by North Korea but UN was unable to impose sanction against them due to backing by China and USSR, the leading powers of the world then.

Even today the same has been repeated by North Korea. Kim Jong Yun is trying again to breach the international code of conduct by threatening South Korea. Beijing fears that a nuclear-armed North Korea could stimulate South Korea to develop its own nuclear weapons or induce the United States to redeploy U.S. nuclear weapons in South Korea. Japan might also pursue an independent nuclear capability.

Beijing also fears that a nuclear North Korea would provide a pretext for the U.S. to boost its missile defense efforts in East Asia, potentially weakening China’s nuclear deterrent, and to strengthen its military presence and ties with allies in the region, increasing a feeling of encirclement in China.

Domestically, North Korea’s actions have angered Chinese citizens, with many seeing the policy of indulging North Korea as a failure. They want their leaders to impose stricter sanctions to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, including cutting economic aid and more effectively enforcing U.N. sanctions. The Chinese public fears that an accident from a nuclear test or weapon could cause heavy radioactive contamination in their own nation.

Chinese policymakers, however, face a dilemma. Amid growing tensions with other nations over disputed islands in the East and South China seas, they are suspicious of Washington’s long-term strategic intentions in the region, particularly it’s rebalancing toward the Asia Pacific. They are concerned that, if freed from the North Korean nuclear crisis, Washington will turn its focus to containing China instead.

Beijing’s position toward Pyongyang is unlikely to change significantly in the near future. Beijing’s bottom line is that war on the Korean peninsula and an abrupt collapse of the Kim Jong Un regime must be avoided. Both could create massive refugee flows into China and possibly put U.S. troops at China’s border.

With Beijing remaining silent over it and at the same time not pressing for war, same is the theory followed by Russia due to almost the same factors with additional fact that at such a crucial moment of time when actually the peace has been established in Russia and it has again caught the league of leading nations, it does not want to lose that with involving itself in the war as this time Russia might be left alone if war front is formulated.

But even after such political rhetoric, experts say that the chances are pretty high that Kim Jong Yun would strive for a war for the reunification of Korean Peninsula. If such kind of situation arises then it is going to be a huge war, a war stronger in intensity and bigger in magnitude than others. The destruction would be irreparable although specualtions say that North Korea has not got such defense capability that it could tackle United States but inclusion of Beijing, Russia and other supporting nation of Kim’s side could lead to a disaster. The whole scenario of Korean was would be repeated but time the level would be outpouring with unexpectedly harsh consequences.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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