In this lesson students will:
Note: If your school participates in Model United Nations, club members or the club sponsor would be good resources for negotiation strategies. Information about starting a Model United Nations Club is at: http://www.unausa.org/programs/modelun.htm
Approximately 90 minutes (45 minutes to prepare in groups and complete the Assignment Sheet, 45 minutes to meet in negotiations)
A. Divide students into two groups to prepare for negotiations. One group will represent North Korea and the second group will represent the United States. Hand out Student Assignment Sheet to help students organize their thoughts.
Group#1: This group will use the following Web sites to assemble as much information as possible about the culture and politics of North Korea and the North Korean position regarding nuclear weapons. (Note: Remind students of media literacy issues here. Since North Korea's Web sites are highly controlled, we simply cannot find some information we would like to know.)
Note: The North Korean Web sites do not mention the pervasive famine that has plagued the country and its people. Some sites that do discuss famine are: http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr990802.html, which gives an overview of the politics of famine, and http://www.visual-artists-guild.org/VAG/Events/Famine/NiteLine01.html, which focuses on one family's dramatic story.
Group #2: This group will assemble as much information as possible about the U.S. position using the following Web sites.
B. The groups representing North Korea and the U.S. will meet separately to explore their positions (using information from the documentary and from the Web sites); to identify their respective long and short-term needs, interests, fears, and/or concerns; and to brainstorm ideas and resources for a potential agreement. For the purposes of this exercise, students should use the terms positions and interests as follows
C. Each side will choose three spokespersons. Other students will be advisors, who must submit at least two written notes or comments to their spokespersons during the negotiations. The spokespersons will then negotiate. Hand out Student Assignment Sheet: Charting Escalation to help students chart the progress of the negotiations.
History teachers whose students may have been studying World War II and the Cold War may want to take this opportunity to have several students prepare a brief review of factors leading to the Cold War. For teachers whose curriculum has not yet reached this period in history, a brief overview with a focus on Yalta and the Cuban missile crisis is available at: http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/soviet.exhibit/coldwar.html
A more complete Cold War site, with links to key events for each decade from the 1940s to the 1990s is at: http://www.coldwar.org/.
More able students might find grappling with the February 2003 opinion piece, "Coping With North Korea," interesting.
Many communities may have veterans of the Korean War, Koreans adopted by American families, Korean immigrants or descendants of immigrants living in their midst. Ask students to find (through local chapters of Veterans of Foreign Wars or through churches and community groups) some veterans who are willing to talk about their experiences in Korea or other community members with background or ties to Korea.
The following Web site contains a U.S. map with links to chapters of the Korean War Veterans Association for each state: http://www.kwva.org/chapters.html
Before sending students off to interview veterans or Korean-Americans, brainstorm with them to discover what they might want to ask, and how they might proceed to find out about the veterans' experiences, or the lives of Korean immigrants or adoptees. Come up with a list of at least six questions they might ask.
The Scholastic Web site at: http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/writing/prepare.asp?topic= has a short introduction to how to start doing interviews for oral histories.
How to Deal with North Korea
First Person Plural