Nuclear Issue in North Korea

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Nuclear Issues in North Korea

On Oct 9th, 2006, The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, also known as North Korea, successfully conducted an underground nuclear test. According to a report by Jeff Bliss, “On Oct 16th, US confirmed that radioactivity found in air samples has verified North Korea's claims that it conducted an underground nuclear test on Oct. 9, according to the top U.S. intelligence agency”(Jeff Bliss, 2006). So, why North Korea wants to have nuclear power so bad? And why it was disapproved and rejected by US and the rest of the world? In this paper, I am going to answer those questions by discussing the history of this event, the motivation of North Korea government and the afterward reaction of the world towards North Korea’s nuclear test.

Korea was divided into North and South in 1949 after it was liberated from the defeated Japan at the end of World War II. The North Korea believed in communism and was supported by People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union, whereas the south which interested in western democratic political system was supported by USA. As a result, the tension between those two Koreans is getting tougher and tougher. The war between two countries is never actually ended, but two countries both have an ambition of reunifying Korea. At the end of World War II, Japan surrendered after USA dropped two atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The degree of destruction that the atomic bombs can produce shocked the rest of the world. From that point, USA became the most powerful country in the world. The rest of the world realized the power of nuclear weapon and got into a competition with each other. After some 20 years, Soviet Union, UK, France and China invented their own atomic bombs respectively. Out of all the competitions, the cold war between US and the Soviet Union, which is also the competition between the communism and the democrat, is the most noticeable one. The two superpowers compete not only for technologies, but also for the numbers of atomic bombs built. According to the list of states with nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union used to have 16,000 warheads in possession, and the US had 9938 warheads (wikipedia). Scientists estimate that if two superpowers start to fight with each other using all of their atomic bombs, the world will be destroyed completely. In order to prevent that from happening, a worldwide organization called “The International Atomic Energy Agency” was established on July 29, 1957 seeking to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inhibit its use of military purpose (wikipedia). In 1974, North Korea became a member of International Atomic Energy Agency and later signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1985 (Wikipedia). But due to the unique relationship between North Korea and US, North Korea was being spied ever since the Korean War. In the late 70s’, the North Korea’s underground nuclear program draws US’s attention. In 1988, US officially announced to the rest of the world that the North Korea is suspicious of secretly developing nuclear weapon. Instantly, North Korea denied the accusation. But the rest of the world starts to realize that North Korea is going to be problematic. According to the article “The Timeline of North Korea nuclear program”, in 1992, North Korea allowed a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit its facility at NyongByon, which is a country where its nuclear scientific research center is located. The team suspected that North Korea is secretly using its nuclear reactors to make plutonium. In 1994, a framework was sign by North Korea and US. North Korea agreed to suspend and eventually dismantle its nuclear program in exchange of fuel oil, economic cooperation, and the construction of two modern light-water nuclear power plants (CNN). US, South Korea and Japan will help North Korea to dismantle its facilities and build the nuclear power plants. However, this plan was delayed because...
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