Editorial for Portfolio — morra2024


Just hours after the Trump-Kim “summit” designed to break the deadlock over the mutual nuclear disarmament, North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un violated all trust by launching missiles in Japan’s direction. Ever since its inception after the Second World War, the dictatorship has been viewing nuclear weapons as an effective deterrent against a world that threatens the very existence of North Korea. For decades, attempts to denuclearize the North have been useless. The latest meeting, held in Hanoi in February 2019, has been just as fruitless and has only postponed denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Delayed negotiations should be stopped; such procrastination only benefits the dictatorship, giving them more time to further develop their constantly-evolving weaponry. 

This second missile threat to Japan in two years clearly demonstrates North Korea’s prioritized goal of using intimidation in lieu of diplomacy, a testament to which is their state-of-the-art weapon’s arsenal. DPRK’s new undetectable intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, combined with improved multi-tube rocket launchers, pose a tremendous threat to the U.S. and its regional allies. These technologies develop at a frighteningly staggering rate. Starting in July, in the span of just a couple of months: over nine projectiles have been tested; two super-large caliber rockets have been fired, and a brand-new sophisticated submarine has been unveiled, which has been inspected by the dictator himself. 

The threat of a nuclear attack by Kim Jong Un should not be underestimated in any way; failed negotiations could result in a nuclear attack with millions of potential victims. Neighboring South Korea and Japan have been greatly alarmed by the North’s increased ammunition. The aforementioned latest missile test has troubled Japan in particular, “evoking memories of a period when the Japanese public was awakened to alarms warning of potential missile landings.” Armed intervention, the alternative deadlock solution, would be thwarted by North Korea’s cyberattack immunity, and the collateral damage would certainly affect Russia and South Korea.

In our problem, China is a key player, who has only previously surreptitiously aided North Korea, thereby nullifying the effectiveness of previous US negotiations. According to Victor Cha, the former director of Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, “China’s economic ties to the North should be the leverage that forces change, not the reason it never comes.” He concludes that China must isolate North Korea by “clamp[ing] down on domestic Chinese entities doing business with North Korea.” However, in order to preserve the existing balance, China’s political domination of the East should not compromise the leadership positions of the U.S. A global catastrophe can only be prevented by the combined diplomatic efforts from all deadlock participants, while there is still time.


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24 Responses to Editorial for Portfolio — morra2024

  1. davidbdale says:

    Some technical notes before I answer your more fundamental questions. (I wouldn’t do this except your work is so strong overall that I think you’re ready for granular improvments.)

    Unsurprisingly, tyrant Kim Jong Un has almost instantly dishonored another agreement to resume denuclearization talks, launching missiles in Japan’s general direction just hours after said negotiations.

    —There are no “said negotiations.” There are talks. Yes, they’re similar, but the “said” construction sends readers looking for an earlier mention of the word “negotiations.”
    —In your sentence “dishonoring” and “launching” aren’t logically connected. Kim dishonored the agreement BY launching the missiles is your point. You could say that readers will make that connection, but I could say they won’t. Remove all doubt.

    Ever since its inception after the Second World War, the dictatorship has been viewing nuclear weapons as an effective deterrent against a world which, according to the despotic regime, threatens the very existence of North Korea.

    —I know this will sound ridiculous, but since you haven’t named NK yet, and since you start by naming Kim, and then the dictatorship, and then the regime, and then finally say that the world threatens North Korea, you leave us wondering whether the threat is to Kim and the regime or to some other country, namely North Korea. Solution: link Kim and North Korea immediately. “To the surprise of no one, North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un has instantly dishonored . . . .”
    —That/Which. In this case, you want “that,” as in “a world that threatens. . . .”

    Decades of attempts to denuclearize the North have been useless.

    —Decades haven’t been useless. Attempts have been useless. “For decades, attempts to denuclearize the North have been useless.”

    The latest meeting, held in Hanoi in February 2019, have yielded similar fruitless results and have only postponed the denuclearization process of the Korean Peninsula.

    —Number disagreement: meeting/have
    —postponed the process, or postponed the denuclearization?
    —Results aren’t fruitless; they’re fruitful. Meetings are fruitless if they fail to achieve results.
    “The February 2019 meeting in Hanoi was worse than fruitless since it only postponed the denuclearization of the Peninsula.”

    Delayed negotiations should be stopped; such procrastination only benefits the dictatorship, giving them more time to further develop their constantly-evolving weaponry.


    Negotiations that only benefit the dictatorship by giving them more time to develop their constantly-evolving weaponry should be stopped.


  2. morra2024 says:

    Professor, may I receive feedback for this editorial? The problem with my previous version was I expected too much background knowledge from the audience.
    Did I manage to introduce the essence of the “deadlock” even a bit?
    Additionally, I eliminated the point of view about Kim being a joke, as it served no real purpose. Did it help make the editorial better?


    • davidbdale says:

      It’s an excellent piece of work for anyone with a working knowledge of the conflict between the US and North Korea, the unlikelihood that either party will dismantle its nuclear arsenals under any conditions,and the fact that China has long circumvented the sanctions imposed on NK by the US, thereby weakening the hand of the US in negotiations.

      As for “the deadlock,” it’s just a casual name for a diplomatic impasse. If you use the term early, every well-informed reader will understand its relevance. How early? How about the first sentence?

      Days after the Trump-Kim “summit” designed to break the deadlock over mutual nuclear disarmament, Chairman Kim violated the spirit of cooperation by launching missiles in Japan’s direction.

      Your third paragraph has problems.

      The very real threat of a nuclear attack by Kim Jong Un could claim millions of victims. Neighboring South Korea and Japan, already at odds over a military intelligence sharing pact, are greatly alarmed by the North’s armaments. The latest missile test over Japan evoked frightening memories of waking to missile warnings. Deadlock solutions such as armed intervention are thwarted by North Korea’s cyberattack immunity and the collateral damage that would certainly affect Russia and South Korea.

      Unclear is how a “military intelligence sharing pact” could cause conflict. Sharing is the opposite of conflict, right?

      Are there several “deadlock solutions” of which armed intervention is just one? If not, then rephrase to eliminate “such as.”


  3. The editorial was well thought out, however while reading I thought I needed a preface or a prior understanding of the current nuclear disputes of the US and North Korea. The first three paragraphs were mostly factual information rather than methods of persuasion and an argument. This made the editorial a little hard to grasp if one isn’t privy to the debacle of the missile debate. Readers might feel they are missing out on all the necessary information when they are being almost bombarded with a bunch of facts of the current debate.


  4. ahntkd99 says:

    The first paragraph gives enough information. It is very clear and strong. I didn’t know much about the North korean deadlock, but after read your editorial, I could understand easily about the North Korean deadlock.


  5. Personally I don’t follow politics and/or know too much about this topic, but straight off the bat you can tell where the writer stands and what they believe. Morra is very detailed throughout the editorial and every sentence has a point to it. No sentences were placed in the writing for “filler” which shows that the writer has lots of purpose behind their work. After reading this editorial, I now have a better understanding of the topic and reasons behind the argument.


  6. kraemercali says:

    this editorial does a good job in explaining the situation and providing evidence. It doesn’t promote fear of a nuclear weapon, rather tries to rationalize why nothing is being done. It explains how North Korea is in a deadlock, and explains why. I think the writer did a great job of getting her point across.


  7. lucbe219 says:

    I did not know too much about the topic from the beginning, but the editorial was still able to be easily understood because of the explanations Morra gave to the readers. It cleared up most of my confusion of the topic The thesis statement was direct and quickly advertised within the editorial to let the readers know the opinion right off the bat. However, it was not as clear about the “delaying of negotiations need to be stopped,” instead it could be better constructed to say “the delaying of the negotiations should be stopped”. Morra makes a strong persuasive argument to explain how crucial the issues are, and how little time is left to clear everything up.


  8. jackso23 says:

    This editorial was very insightful and had a lot of information that I myself, as well as others who do not look too much into this, would not have known otherwise. The info was easy to follow and everything explained and elaborated on was clear to me even with my lack of background knowledge on the topic.


  9. this editorial is really good, to me, i feel like i could relate to the show “everybody loves raymond” where, i could be on my bed next to my wife, reading your newspaper article. the only part that bothers me is the reference to memes on the internet, it throws off the focus of the article, and doesnt keep the reader interested in what you are talking about. its a quirky thing to put in a little pop culture reference in your article, but it distracts from the actual topic.


  10. mpsj13 says:

    I have little knowledge of the connections between North Korea and countries outside of the United States. The first paragraph provides sufficient information to help me understand the issue you are discussing, but I feel that more background is needed when describing the connections between other countries particularly in regards to China. I feel your point is clear, but the issues discussed come out as vague to someone who is unfamiliar with the issues. Overall I understand where you are coming form and the essence of what you are saying, but more detail would be helpful.


  11. bmdpiano says:

    After reading your Editorial, I found it to be very clear and concise. It was amazing how in such a short amount of time, I was able to understand and form my own opinion on your topic. I will admit that I did not know much about deadlock before reading your work, so maybe adding a brief description of what it is would help those who do not know much about it. A simple explanation would suffice. Overall, I thought it accomplished the nature of an Editorial and created urgency.


  12. Valcom says:

    After reading the opening statement and paragraph, I felt as if I got a strong understanding from the author about what the following paragraphs will contain. It gives ideas on the large issues and possible ways to attempt to fix the problems. One thing I would like to see however, is more background on the two parties and North Korea. The editorial in the end is a good one, just need a few tweaks to possibly make it better.


  13. voxpopuli75 says:

    The first paragraph of your editorial gives the reader enough information in order to understand the rest of the material as long as the reader has a basic understanding of the geopolitics of the two Korea’s and the conflict between them. More background information wouldn’t hurt either and could potentially educate readers who are ignorant of the situation in northeast Asia.


  14. ajuuy7 says:

    I think the editorial Is written very well and it is easy to distinguish the authors opinions and thoughts. I don’t follow politics or anything like that but I was still able to follow along and understand. There was great word choice and you can hear the ‘power of god’ voice we’re supposed to use while writing an editorial.


  15. Prior to reading your editorial, I did not know much about the North Korean deadlock. I knew that there were tensions of some sort, even if our President said otherwise, but I was not informed of the dishonesty. However, your editorial and Prof. Hodges explanation of your introduction helped me paint a picture in my head of what is going on with NK.


  16. yankeefan25 says:

    I did not have a lot of knowledge about the situation before reading this which made it hard to understand. Though it has great points and ideas it was hard to follow as someone who does not know a lot about the situation at hand. Maybe set the stage a little bit more so a reader who does not know as much can follow it more easily.


  17. lg102015 says:

    This comment is coming from someone who did not know much about the North Korea deadlock prior to reading your writing, I feel as if you have a very strong opening and throughout your work you continuously state your points very well. I believe that personally I need more information about the parties within the deadlock. This will give me a better understanding on this situation that is going on in North Korea.


  18. roses0102 says:

    The first paragraph definitely prepares you for the information given in the following paragraphs. The opening (2nd) paragraph gives a good understanding on how technology is also fueling the nuclear war and is strong and straight to the point. The 3rd paragraph also is very informational and I enjoyed how you included how it affecting other places outside of North Korea, such as China.


  19. I thought the opening paragraph did a wonderful job at guiding us through the rest of the editorial. In this it gives a clearly stated opinion and gives ideas as to what the author truly thinks about the situation. It gives ideas to help solve the issue and shows how important the issue is. The looming stress of a nuclear war is what gives us the most fear here, and the explanation as to why nothing has really gotten through to North Korea shows the reader that the author knows what they are talking about. Overall I would say that this was a wonderful editorial.


  20. davidbdale says:

    Morra, I’m doing a quick round of feedback this morning to get the revision ball rolling. Feel free to put your post back into Feedback Please if you want more reactions or a different sort of feedback.

    Even readers with a basic understanding of the criss-crossing border tensions will have a hard time following the threat lines, Morra. You don’t need to simplify the premise, or ignore any of the players and their concerns, but you do need to unpack some of the dense claims OR resist the temptation to splice several unrelated observations into a single sentence, as in: “While Kim Jong Un is typically perceived to be a meme legend of the Russian and Chinese internet (He keeps missing Japan!) failed negotiations could result in a nuclear attack with millions of potential victims.” What I presume you mean is that we need to take the threat more seriously instead of making jokes about nuclear weapons testing. Your sentence sets us up for TWO VIEWS of Kim, and then delivers instead ONE VIEW of Kim spliced onto a dire warning about the consequences of negotiations failure.

    You presume a high degree of familiarity with the geopolitics, which I appreciate, but you might BOTH serve your readers better AND flesh out your own presentation with some helpful notes on the needs of the participants.


  21. davidbdale says:

    Most good editorials clock in at well below 1000 words, Morra. Let’s just look at the work and see if it needs more material. It may be you’ve done the job perfectly.


  22. morra2024 says:

    Professor, feedback please! As much as possible if you can.
    Professor, I am aware that my editorial does not have 1000 words. I doubled the word count of my initial draft, from 250 to about 450-500 by elaborating on existing ideas. I initially thought that my goal was to compress as much information as possible and ended up overdoing it. I’m guessing I need more ideas.


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