He hesitated for a few seconds. He contemplated clearing his throat again. He wondered if he should speak slowly or drop this on them quickly. He questioned the sanity of whoever submitted this scenario. And then he announced it in that same booming voice, “North Korea achieves full nuclear proliferation.”
The room fell silent, section by section, as countries began to process what had been said. A wildfire of reactions inflamed East Asia. The news erased North Korea’s glare and his eyes shot open. The biggest, silent gasp slowly morphed into the biggest, stupidest grin. South Korea and America shared struck expressions. China’s countenance slowly took on a defeated expression that was already tired of dealing with events that hadn’t happened yet. Japan’s joyless smile turned straight lipped, but it was her wide, startled eyes that spoke the loudest.
Following the silence was an slow bubbling up of murmurs and mutters from around the room. A stern conversation began between North Korea and China while South Korea, America, and Japan exchanged worried banter back and forth until they decided none of them knew what to do. Some parts of Europe expressed concern over the issue, but in the end they just began arguing about their own problems. Iran and Pakistan took the opportunity to move one row down and a few feet closer to their friend, who coincidentally just became the world’s latest nuclear powerhouse. India eyed East Asia from across the table, but refrained from engaging.
“We need to call a UN meeting,” America insisted after the initial shock.
“This is a UN meeting,” South Korea reminded him not so gently
“The Security Council, I mean.”
“The thing that me and Japan aren’t a part of?”
“Fine. The Security Council plus you and Japan.”
And so, the permanent security council plus South Korea and Japan gathered in the North America row for an emergency meeting dubbed the G7. The meeting had North Korea on the edge of his seat, eyeing them suspiciously from afar as one ear struggled to pick up bits of the conversation while the other ear relished Syria’s sweet talking.
Germany, the humble moderator, watched them from the corner of his eye. After a minute or so a gentle smile, devoid of happiness but offering sympathy, crept upon his face. He then stepped away from the podium, setting off to central Europe to tell a certain neutral state that firearms in the meeting room was against the rules.
Meanwhile, America wanted to go to war but was quickly shot down.
“We have to stay firmly committed to disarmament,” England suggested.
“Well said,” France said after nodding.
“But,” England continued, “disarmament only really works on those willing to disarm.”
“Stop agreeing with me.”
“Okay,” said America, steering the conversation once more. “Since you guys want to do this the hard way–peaceful way, whatever–we’ll have to diplomatically persuade him to disarm.”
South Korea grunted in lieu of a laugh. “That will go beautifully.”
America edged forward. “See? That’s my point.”
“We don’t know,” started Japan, “for a fact that he has weapons. Only that he has the resources to make them. A lot of them.”
“Well, if his aim is still as bad as it has been, that won’t be too much of a problem, right?” Japan smiled at the joke–but internally, of course, as she remained committed to a cool and stoic exterior.
England folded an arm over his chest and brought a hand under his chin. “This has got to be a very careful process,” he said. “I don’t know if punishing him for this will make things better or worse.” A pause. “There’s something he wants other than nuclear weapons. We need to use that.”
“Sounds like appeasement,” said America in a low voice.
“No, it’s compromise,” the previously tight-lipped and quiet China said.
“He’ll only come close to considering disarming if everyone else does,” elaborated South Korea. Her gaze panned across the row of countries standing on the other side of the desk. “I’m not saying it’s guaranteed to work, but the idea might at least bring him to talks.” The question came out cautiously, as it might when the asker was sitting next to five nuclear-weapon states who had a history of enjoying power and hegemony.
“Well, she’s not wrong.”
An unfortunately familiar voice from behind startled the G7, setting them all on edge.
America leaned back to meet eyes with the Korean. “Finished selling nuclear technology to the Middle East already?”
“Iran kept pretending he wasn’t interested,” said a surprisingly nonchalant North Korea. ”But I know better.”
“North,” the other Korea began firmly. “You’re not in an ideal situation right now.”
“From where I stand, you’re not either,” he said, a bit less nonchalantly. While he might been looking at his sister, the rest of the G7 could feel the chill in his glare.
America’s eyes narrowed significantly, as if he were reading fine print that also happened to be vulgar. “Dude. Is that a threat?”
“A threat?” said North Korea as he forced a smile. “No, no. I want peace and stability, just like you.” He walked along their row slowly as he spoke, stopping by China and America. “Negotiations, right? I’m open to talks.” There was a brief pause followed by a menacing shift in his expression and tone. When he spoke, he spoke slowly with venomous enunciation. “In fact, let’s talk about how the Security Council is so very dedicated to disarming everybody but themselves.”
“We have all made significant progress toward disarmament,” retorted a testy England. “Some of us more so than others.”
America scoffed after catching England’s gaze. “The hell does that mean?”
A smiling Russia asked, “You were looking at me when you said that too, weren’t you?”
“Hey, I care about disarmament more than anyone else right now.”
England rolled his eyes. “Ah, yes. And your nuclear arsenal is proof of this, isn’t it?”
“I had a lot to get rid of! Yanno, the Cold War and all?” At that, an undefinable sound came from Russia, but it was largely ignored by the group.
France spoke up. “The Cold War is largely the reason why we’re in this situation right now.”
“Oh, I’m the reason, now? I thought North Korea was the reason!”
“Okay, okay!” A shout from the rightfully irritated South Korea prompted everyone to quickly shut it and turn to her. “We’re going to take a breather. Everyone calm down, pull yourselves together, and just–just not do whatever we were just doing! Let’s do something better than that.”
The G7 huddled together once again, North Korea leaving them off with just a hint of amusement. When they brought it together, South Korea lead the discussion.
“Let me talk to him,” she suggested to the others. “I think I can warm him up. Besides, he only kind of hates me. Can’t say the same for most of you.”
“I’ll talk to him.”
The Korean shot China a look, her brow furrowing and displeasure tugging at the corner of her mouth. “I’m sorry, but, what?”
“I will talk to him,” said China, unwavering.
She shrugged her shoulders and shook her head in the same motion. “Of course you will Of course. Even though it’s my peninsula, and I’m the one he’s shooting at. But no–by all means, go ahead and talk to him.”
China did not hesitate. “If you hope to warm him up to the idea of negotiating the termination of his newly refined nuclear program, you will want me to talk to him. Trust me.”
While the ‘trust me’ gave South Korea the strongest urge to sigh with great intensity, she didn’t want to argue with China–especially not when she knew he didn’t care.
And so, China pulled North Korea aside as the G7 followed them with their gazes; France and England watched with uneasiness, America and Japan watched with suspicion, South Korea watched with quiet anger, and Russia watched with curious eyes and the faint hint of a smile.