North Korea is a rogue state, there’s no debate about that. It is ruled by a man, Kim Jong-il, who, by any measure, is a complete nutjob – he’s 100% insane. So why is such a country continued to be allowed to operate, to continue to be run into the ground at the cost of millions of lives? Is it not the task of the United Nations to ensure that the international community is not burdened by such despots, to work out such disputes in a timely and efficient manner?
North Korea has now carried out a nuclear test so they have the technology and capability to construct nuclear devices, if not deliver them (it’s one thing to build a nuke, it’s another step entirely to weaponise it). However, it has been clearly evident that North Korea is a failed state run by a complete loon – the population of the country is starving, it’s economy is in ruins and corruption is rampant. The NK higher ups clearly have no regard for their own people and the entire country and region suffers for it. They have a rather large military force, the fifth largest in the world, but until recently lacked in real long range attack capabilities – they barked a lot but could only really affect those in the local area (China, South Korea, Japan, etc). Now that the world knows they have nuclear technology, even if it is only in its infancy, then they suddenly become considerably scarier – even if they don’t know how to whack it into a missile, it does demonstrate that they will soon have the capability to.
So how is this all, at least in part, the U.N’s fault? As stated, NK has been sliding into ruin for a long time now – Kim Jong-il has never been a picture of mental health and his (and his father’s) policies have been killing his own people for decades. He could have been reasonably easily removed and NK salvaged back in the early 90’s but instead international politics got in the way. China told everyone to back off and let them have a go at diplomacy (which has quite clearly failed miserably) and the U.N. listened. Now the situation has deteriorated to the point where no one wants to touch it and, for the first time in decades, a nuclear conflict is a (albeit it, slight) possibility.
The United Nations, due to the model it was founded on, is still being completely ineffectual. Instead of taking direct action which could solve the situation, the security council has taken days just to come to a vote that would deny the country luxury items; and they’re still bickering over the wording of it. Such an action will do nothing to deter NK from continuing their policies at all – most of the country is in deep economic shit already, without enough cash to purchase food let alone luxury items. Meanwhile, the higher ups are already set up for life and, most likely, not notice the sanctions at all.
North Korea is far from the only United Nations failure, though. The African nation of Zimbabwe is another case of a failed country being run by someone who lost all powers of rational thought years ago. Zimbabwe is a country where opposition leaders can be kidnapped and tortured with ease, where the everyday man starves, where the political process is so corrupt that it may as well not exist. Yet the U.N. does effectively nothing to ensure the safety and well-being of Zimbabwe’s people is looked after – the man who is responsible for what can only be labelled as tyrannical rule is left free to continue brutally running the nation.
The current state of the United Nations leaves it as a toothless tiger, where individual agendas of nations serve to scuttle any effective work that the organisation might otherwise try to perform. The U.N. has failed miserably to prevent wars from breaking out, to stop humanitarian crisis from occurring time and again. Their response times have ranged from slow to unforgiveably pathetic, costing thousands upon thousands in lives while many more than even that are forced to live in squallar and terror. The United Nations is not an effective force for World good, they need to become much more pro-active and forceful in their goals and practices if they truly want the world to become a better place for all. They should be almost like a world government in their own right, using whatever means necessary to bring rogue states into line so that they stop disrupting the regions that they are in.