By James Hwang
About three years ago, North Korea acquired nuclear weapon capabilities. Their attempts to create missiles put the world on edge, but their ability to deliver the weapons is still unknown.
Over the past decade, North Korea has made two attempts to launch long-range ballistic missiles. Although both attempts failed, the tests scared neighboring countries such as Japan and South Korea.
This year, another launch put North Korea in the spotlight. In April, they launched a three-part rocket, which the North Korean government claimed as successful. This outraged South Korea and Japan.
The tests were condemned worldwide by many leaders, including President Obama. It triggered the United Nations to call an emergency session. However, according to military specialists, North Korea failed again to launch its missile into Earth’s orbit.
In retaliation to actions taken by the United Nations, North Korea ceased negotiations of disarmament talks, reactivated their nuclear program, and removed foreign inspectors from the country. Not too long after, North Korea began processing thousands of spent nuclear fuel rods, enough to create three nuclear bombs.
On May 25, a second nuclear test brought more attention to North Korea and increased the efforts of the international community to disarm the country. Obama declared on the same day that the United States and its allies would stand up to the North Korean threat.
On June 12, the United Nation’s Security Council passed an act to target the reactivated nuclear and missile development programs of North Korea. This included the inspection of ships and suspected materials for those programs.
Under this kind of pressure, the Security Council hopes to force North Korea to return to negotiations toward dismantling its nuclear missile development programs. The nuclear threat will serve as a test for the Obama administration and will preoccupy much of their time in foreign relations. ♦
James Hwang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(The stories in this issue are written by SYLP students, not Northwest Asian Weekly staff. Opinions herein do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the newspaper.)