September 16, 2019
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 In Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation

Country: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Delegate Name: Aliah Mohmand

Special Political Committee
Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation
Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea
Aliah Mohmand
Kalamazoo Central High School

The Arctic Circle is a region prevailing the northern Asian and American continents that bears an abundance of significant resources and opportunities. Research conducted by Geographical Survey estimates that the Arctic Circle holds approximately 22% of the Earth’s entire natural gas and oil reserves and contains rare deposits of bauxite, phosphate, copper, iron ore, and diamond, along with other minerals. The onset of climate change has further highlighted the availability and the increasing accessibility of resources in the Arctic Circle. The United Nations has recognized the substantial importance of the Arctic Circle with its formation of an Arctic Council consisting of eight nation-states, who have territorial holdings in the region to address individual interests and concerns. In recent decades, a growing number of non-arctic states have shown considerable interest and have invested millions into collaborative research and development programs regarding the Arctic Circle. In response, the Arctic Council has granted observer status to a number of non-arctic nation-states, indigenous representatives, and non-governmental organizations. However, debate continues to proliferate regarding the future, how to, and who should dominate the Arctic Circle.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is in favor of sustained research and the extraction of the natural resources within the Arctic Circle. The DPRK’s Juche ideological system brought forth by the eternal leader, Kim-Il-sung, puts strict emphasis on the principles of self-reliance and self sustainability in all economic, political, military, and social sectors. The DPRK prides itself on maintaining its status as a near autarkic nation with its history of creating its own self-sufficient manufacturing industries with limited reliance on foreign aid. If utilized in an equitable and egalitarian manner, the valuable resources within the Arctic Circle may ultimately assist developing nations in establishing the foundations for their own self-sustainable industries and means of production without the need to directly rely on the rapacious, Western imperialist states’ exploitative, development tactics. In consideration of the imperialism and horrendous amounts of exploitation that has been imposed on a majority of developing nation-states throughout history, the DPRK insists that third world nations should have prioritized access in developing and utilizing the Arctic’s resources as reparations for their oppression. Additionally, the DPRK ratified the Svalbard Treaty in 2016 which grants all treaty members the right to visit the Svalbard region and engage in their own independent industrial, maritime, and commercial activities without discrimination or overbearing limitations.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains wary of the individual interests within the Arctic Council as power is inherently left concentrated in the hands of Western dominated or allied interests. The DPRK ultimately demands for the inclusion of more nation-states as members in the Arctic Council and the creation of an open forum in order to ensure that the imperialist interests will not be the sole factors in deciding the future and fate of the Arctic Circle. Though the DPRK acknowledges the need to prevent excessive exploitation of the Arctic Circle’s resources and to respect the indigenous communities, it cannot be trusted that the current sitting members of the Arctic Council will abide by such, in consideration of past history and their agendas. The DPRK insists that the creation and implementation of proper guidelines for the Arctic Circle exploration and engagement are necessary to prevent the dominance of certain Western interests over all. The DPRK looks towards its key ally, the People’s Republic of China, in supporting this proposition. The Arctic Circle region should be ultimately left to be controlled and enjoyed by all who have experienced subjugation and oppression, not to further the corrupted capitalist hegemony.

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