By ARJAN BATTH
North Korea has been threatening America with violence lately and it is important to know first how relations ended up in turmoil.
After World War II, Korea was liberated from the rule of the Japanese and was divided in half at the 38th parallel. The Soviet Union occupied the north part of the Korean Peninsula while America occupied the south. In the north, the communist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), arose while the democratic Republic of Korea (South Korea) formed in the south.
The republic in the north wanted to unify Korea again into a communist regime. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea attacked the Republic of Korea which engendered the Korean War with the US assisting South Korea. This is the first sign of tensions between the two countries of when they fought against each other in the Korean War. By the end of the war, the border between the countries was only minimally changed and forever increased the tensions between the neighboring countries.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, North Korea experienced shortage of resources and resulted in a famine where 3 million people died. North Korea attempted to mend the relationship with America but failed.
Under the regime of North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, he has rapidly accelerated their country’s nuclear program.
On September 3rd, seismographs captured a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. However it was not an earthquake but a nuclear test conducted by North Korea. It was their sixth nuclear test and the biggest of them. It is believed that this nuclear test was a hydrogen bomb. While they have claimed this before it is more likely that they have actually made a hydrogen bomb now. Atomic bombs split atoms, while hydrogen bombs cause nuclear fusion where atoms coalesce. Hydrogen bombs have the capability of being 1,000 times more powerful than an atomic bomb. North Korea reacted by having a large celebration in the capital of Pyongyang, honoring the scientists who made the feat possible.
Only a few days earlier, North Korea launched a missile over Japan, specifically the island of Hokkaido. There the missile created alarm and people were prompted to stay in safe and sheltered areas. After flying for 9 minutes and covering a distance of approximately 1700 miles, it landed in the Pacific Ocean. North Korea has also warned that it will target Guam, an American territory in the Pacific which has a high American military presence.
With North Korea threatening the United States and its allies, tensions have been heightened. The U.S. has criticized countries such as China and Russia for not taking greater action on the country’s threats. The United Nations has began to take actions on North Korea with multiple sanctions. Many other countries have also imposed sanctions on the country. Surprisingly, their closest ally- China-has began to support sanctions as well.
At a UN Security Council meeting, Nikki Haley, America’s UN ambassador, said that “Our country’s patience is not unlimited”, condemning North Korea. Also President Trump said that North Korea will be met with “fire and fury.” Time will only tell if this problem will end peacefully or violently.