General Assembly Historical Committee
Serbian Question (White Paper)
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Carl Morison, Isaac Boris
Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, war and ethnic conflict have descended on the Balkans. Beginning with Slovenian independence in 1991, Serbia, who once was at the heart of Yugoslavia, fought to take back much of their former territory in the Yugoslav Wars. Serbian military aggression towards Bosnia and Herzegovina has gotten out of hand as much of Bosnia is now controlled by the Serbian JNA (Yugoslav National Army), which may be committing ethnic cleansing against Bosnian Muslims. The UN has implemented a war crimes tribunal, a ceasefire, and an arms embargo in the region through various resolutions. However, these have been largely ineffective. The situation in Muslim enclave cities such as Srebrenica appears to have gotten worse, as the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) has been unable to defend them effectively. The United States is now calling for the arms embargo to end, and is calling for airstrikes against Serb forces, which would only create further chaos and damage in the region.
While the DPRK isn’t deeply involved in the Balkan situation, we strongly oppose NATO airstrikes in Serbia. Kim Jong-il will make it a priority to stop America from pushing their agenda onto this region. We feel as though the United States would be overstepping their boundary by trying to get more involved in the Balkan turbulence. Bill Clinton’s proposed “lift and strike” policy (lifting the embargo, and conducting airstrikes against the Serb forces) makes North Korea angry, as the Americans would be overstepping their boundary, and pushing out the remnants of Yugoslav socialism in the region. The United States has already gotten involved in this conflict, and would only be causing more chaos in the region by doing air strikes against Serb forces. Furthermore, U.S. military involvement in the Balkans would lead to America pushing its foreign policy agenda onto the Balkans, instead of giving Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia the right to self-determination. The DPRK is confident that Bosnia and Serbia can negotiate an agreement that would end this dispute peacefully, and split the disputed territory between the two. This should occur with as little American influence as possible.
As a possible conflict resolution agreement, the DPRK would like to suggest that the groups form a peace agreement and new line of demarcation between the states, as they have the right to self-determination. The terms of a bilateral agreement would ensure each of the states would then be at peace with one another, and conflict would then be mostly resolved. Furthermore, the DPRK is opposed to the war crimes tribunal, since it will deflect attention from the still ongoing war. Most importantly, the plan of a bilateral agreement can only work with minimal American presence. Preferably, the states would implement socialist policies, which have been a way to overcome ethnic differences in the Balkans in the past. As a result, the DPRK is calling for a negotiated agreement between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to end the hostilities. While this may be hard to achieve, it’s a better outcome than the U.S. pushing their foreign policy interests onto Serbia.