Students talk North Korea

Remy Hogan
Staff Writer

Whether the United Nations Permanent Five should impose sanctions on North Korea, in response to the country’s nuclear missile program, was the topic of discussion at the Hot Spots lecture Wednesday in the President’s Dining Room.

The University of La Verne’s Model United Nations club presented a simulation of a United Nations session. During this simulation, club members acted as members of the UN P5 and debated the merits of imposing sanctions on North Korea.

“We try to be a model of the United Nations and we try to act in such a way that we represent the values of the United Nations,” said Christian Barba, the vice president of MUN.

This simulation was part of a monthly symposium series called Hot Spots. It is sponsored by the International Studies Institute.

“The Institute supports the study of international issues anywhere on campus, across all the colleges and in the various student and faculty groups,” said Gitty Amini, director of the International Studies Institute.

This specific topic was picked because the North Korean missile program has been an extremely controversial issue globally, and the Institute wanted to highlight the talents of the MUN student team.

The MUN simulation was set up just like a United Nations session. Included in the delegation were the five members of the Permanent Five: the United States of America, France, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, China, and the Russian Federation. The Republic of Korea, also known as South Korea, was also included in the delegation, although this country was not given voting privileges.

The simulation began with an introduction by Christian Barba, senior political science major and economics minor, who represented the United States of America. He took the stance that the U.N. should send a message to the international community by imposing sanctions on North Korea. He made the argument that the DPRK is self-sufficient except where oil is concerned, and that imposing an oil embargo would aid in sending a strong message. When a resolution was introduced regarding action on behalf of the U.N. moving forward, the French delegation fervently agreed that sending a strong message is the best route to take, and they were in full support of the oil embargo clause.

The Chinese delegation disagreed, explaining that they were willing to impose a sanction on their ally but they do not believe the sanction needs to be as strict. Instead, the Chinese delegation proposed the removal the oil embargo clause.

Ultimately, the delegates unanimously voted to remove the oil embargo clause and impose other, less harsh sanctions on the DPRK.

“I’m very happy with how it turned out and the crowd turn out as well,” Hagop Housbian, president of MUN, said.

The members of MUN are looking forward to two big conferences this semester. They hope to attend the Los Angeles Model United Nations conference at UCLA and the Model United Nations of the Far West conference in San Francisco.

“It’s not too late to join MUN and attend a conference. Think of it like Dungeons and Dragons, but with politics,” Angelyn Mendoza, secretary of MUN, said.

Speaking to the teamwork that MUN encourages, Juli Minoves-Triquell, associate director of the International Studies Institute and advisor to MUN, said, “You are only as good and strong in Model UN as you are good and strong in your team.”

“It’s an important institution that can transform someone into being a better citizen of the world,” Nicholas Castellano, treasurer of MUN, said.

The members of MUN encourage any student who is interested in honing their public speaking skills to take the Model United Nations class and to join the club.

The Model United Nations club meets every Monday from 5:10-6:45 p.m. in Founders Hall, room 216.

Remy Hogan can be reached at

Remy Hogan

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