North Korea’s success in developing nuclear weapons is a serious international problem. Sanctions are being imposed to solve it, negotiations are being organized, and summits are being held, but it is impossible to get out of the Korean crisis. There are many jokes and anecdotes about this, one of which will be given in this article. “Today, the North Korean government has made an official statement that it will use nuclear technology exclusively for peaceful purposes. Peaceful purposes are located on the territory of the USA and Japan.” Meanwhile, the country is conducting increasingly successful tests of ballistic missiles and nuclear charges. Still, the actions and behavior of the head of North Korea show that the Republic is not prepared for peaceful coexistence and cooperation with other states.
There is no exact information about North Korea’s nuclear facilities’ number, location, and condition. The data found in the public domain gives only a rough idea of what is happening in the country. It is known that North Korea has more than a dozen uranium mines, several uranium enrichment plants, and a large test site (Xie & Zhao, 2018). In addition, the Republic has a reactor that allows obtaining plutonium in quantities necessary for the manufacture of nuclear weapons.
A Brief History of North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is located north of the Korean peninsula and bordering the Republic of Korea, Russia, and China. At the end of World War II, the United States and the USSR fought with Japan, so control over the peninsula passed to these countries. The south was the first to declare independence, and in 1948, the creation of the Republic of Korea was proclaimed, and three weeks later, the north also declared independence. Modern North Korea is one of the poorest countries in the world, which is constantly receiving humanitarian assistance from the UN and other international organizations. Despite the ban on nuclear tests, the country is constantly testing new missiles, which causes outrage in other countries.
It is necessary to define some key terms used in this article. Nuclear weapons are weapons whose destructive effect is based on the damaging factors of a nuclear or thermonuclear explosion. A ballistic missile is a type of missile weapon that performs most of the flight along a ballistic trajectory; it is in uncontrolled motion. Nuclear power is the energy contained in atomic nuclei and released during nuclear reactions and radioactive decay.
The Current State of Affairs
The current event in the discussion is the test of a hydrogen bomb by North Korea in 2017 when it became finally clear that it was extremely difficult to influence the Republic. The problem began during the Korean War when the US command considered the possibility of nuclear strikes on the North. Although these plans were not implemented, the leadership of North Korea was interested in gaining access to technologies that allowed the creation of weapons of this type (Haworth et al., 2019). In the 1970s, Pyongyang, relying on the support of China, began the first work on the design of nuclear weapons.
North Korea’s growing military might is endangering nearby countries. First of all, this concerns South Korea and Japan, over whose territory some of the missiles tested by North Korea have flown. The situation around the US military base on Guam deserves special attention. With their tests, the Koreans have demonstrated that, if necessary, they are ready to strike at the island. The financing of the nuclear program is allegedly due to cyber-attacks with an estimated production of 2 billion US dollars.
Thus, it becomes clear that North Korea is striving to create nuclear weapons to strengthen its position on the world stage. Experts pay attention to the fact that the number of tests in North Korea has rapidly increased in recent years, and the equipment is becoming more complex. Attempts to persuade lead to nothing since both sides refuse to compromise. Unfortunately, it remains unclear what consequences the actions of the head of North Korea will lead to since the situation on the world stage is constantly changing.
Haworth, A. R., Sagan, S. D., & Valentino, B. A. (2019). What do Americans really think about conflict with nuclear North Korea? The answer is both reassuring and disturbing. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 75(4), 179-186. Web.
Xie, X., & Zhao, L. (2018). The seismic characterization of North Korea underground nuclear tests. Chinese Journal of Geophysics, 61(3), 889-904. Web.