The nuclear program of North Korea essay

North Korea’s provocation to the U.S., South Korea and Japan with the help of their nuclear weapons, media and foreign policy.

“The most critical thing in the war of North Korea is to teach everyone of our nation to hate U.S. imperialism, or else, all of us will be unable to defeat them who are boating about their technological superiority.” These are the famous words of the leader of North Korea who had instigated the hatred for U.S. And its allies in the North Koreans. The beliefs and ideology of North Korea is entirely different from Unites States of America, Japan and South Korea and there have been many issues in the past amongst these nations. The conflicting national interest and the pursuit for technological superiority is a major threat to the world development and world security.

The rise of the nuclear technology has meant a greater threat of wars and destruction. North Korea on purpose has been stating many allegations and threats against U.S., Japan and South Korea. North Korea seems to be provoking a war against them. There are many complications understanding why they are doing so. The paper will help in analyzing the various dimensions of North Korea’s statements and actions. There are many proposed solutions to this issue but yet none of the suggested solutions have made any difference, in fact the situation has gone pretty worse with the passage of time and recently the situation is in a critical phase.


Korea was liberated from Japan after the Second World War. It has been a divided country since then. It is reported that U.S. brought in the atomic weapons to Korea way back in 1956. This decision was condemned by the United Nations in 1957. North Korea had responded by strengthening its military forces and developing strategies to face South Korea and U.S.. In 1963, North Korea found an ally in the form of Soviet Union. Soviet Union helped the North Koreans in developing their nuclear program which included the training of the nuclear scientists. China was also approached by the North Koreans to aid them in their pursuit for a massive nuclear program, but China refused.

The major trigger for the nuclear program of North Korea was provided by the suspected and expected alliance of U.S., Japan and a few other nations which could have turned out to be a major threat to the North Korean sovereignty. Kim IL Sung had doubts over their allies Soviets that they probably would not back them up in case of an attack from any of the threats. There was an army of 700,000 and 200,000 police men were also present there to back the army in the mid 1960s. The lack of trust in the Soviets was increased by their betrayal of the Cubans during the times of the Caribbean crisis. However Soviet Union kept on providing them with their support through technological transfers, despite the possibility that North Koreans could provide China with the same technology which was not acceptable to the communist regimes.

As the Soviet Union collapsed, the leaders of North Korea knew very well that now the needed to make adjustments in their policies and processes. They started to formulate new set of ties with the Americans. The two countries had a pact of non-aggression since the beginning of the century. On the other hand U.S. rejected the call for the bilateral ties. They wanted to have ties between the six countries which included Russia, Japan, South Korea and China. The American stance on North Korea was that they had not been loyal with their previous agreements therefore they did not accept any offer of talks. This initiated a diplomatic stalemate.

In the recent years North Korea has continued to provoke its threats continuously through statements and actions. In 2006, North Korea conducted successfully a nuclear test. The test was confirmed by the American and Japanese Geological authorities. In the same year the North Korean newspaper, “Minju Joson” had put serious allegations on South Korea of making plans to attack North Korea. They claimed that South Korea has made new kind o weapons to specifically target North Korea. The newspaper also reported U.S.’s involvement in the scheming against North Korea. There were continuous allegations and U.S. had denied a number of times.

In 2009, North Korea had conducted another nuclear test at the same location where the first test was performed. It is reported that the test weapon had the same power which the atomic bombs possessed which were used in the 2nd world war. These tests were confirmed by South Korea and Russia. In 2011, a Pakistani scientist claimed that North Korea had gained the nuclear technology by bribing Pakistan’s military officials. However he did not provide any proof to the claim that he made.

North Korea has effectively used their foreign policy as a tool for provoking their enemies. Since the start of the 1980s decade, the foreign policy has been closely monitored by its enemies due to their nuclear program. North Korea has been operating smartly and has maintained good relations with the other powerful nations such as Russia and China, while they have been continuously posing threats to the enemies of their state which are USA, Japan and South Korea.

Relations with United States of America

The negotiations began in the year 1993 to resolve the nuclear programs of North Korea and yet the negotiations have not led to any conclusion. The long duration of the negotiations is reflecting the intensity of the issue. Not a lot is known about the intensity of nuclear plans of North Korea. One thing is for sure that the negotiations made for such a long time have not provided any solutions. In the year 1994, an agreement was reached to freeze all the nuclear activities in the North Korea, although there were suggestions to completely demolish the program. This agreement was abandoned through CVID (Comprehensive Verifiable and Irreversible Dismantlement) which was brought in by the Bush administration. The goal to dictate terms in North Korea by the U.S. was unrealistic because the North Koreans refused completely to be dictated by some other country unlike many other countries which had allowed U.S. To interfere in their internal affairs.

The negotiations which failed indicated that a fixed goal cannot be achieved and establishing a political security is going to be an extremely tough job. The economic relations have also suffered a great deal due to these failed negotiations. North Korea’s approach has been to tackle the situation with technical approaches and military approaches, as they have been obtaining a provocation strategy for the past few years.

The nuclear dilemma has been worsened by the negotiation process which has been going on for the past many years. The changes in the policies with the changing faces of the American politics has also hindered the progress of the negotiations as after every election there has been a shift in the policies and strategies while carrying out negotiation. The approaches by Clinton, Bush and now Obama are also quite different from each other.

After the 9/11 attack, George Bush termed North Korea as a part of the “Axis of Evil,” yet he stated that he didn’t want to take any immediate military action against North Korea. In 2006, John Feffer stated that the agreement made in 1994 was flawed agreement and under the current circumstances U.S. didn’t want any sort of agreement with North Korea. The diplomatic efforts are hard to be carried out because of the complicated relations between the other nations of the region. None of the nations want North Korea to possess nuclear energy however they all are varies of the fact that a possible attack on North Korea can have a severe impact on their country as North Korea can start counter strikes. China and South Korea also know that they can face severe consequences economically also which can be there as a result of collapse of North Korea.

The Obama regime had been continuously trying to reach for solutions peacefully through negotiations. There have been several visits of leaders of the two countries but any solid solution is yet to be developed. In 2012, North Korea had announced that they will not conduct any other nuclear tests and will suspend the enrichment of Uranium. This led to some improvements in the bilateral ties. U.S. had welcomed this move and were waiting for time to pass in order to judge the commitment of North Korea, and it did not last even two months as in April North Korea had conducted a missile test which ended in a failure, since then U.S. has abandoned all the food aid which they were promised.

Relations with South Korea

The relationship with South Korea has been traditionally been of hatred due to the past differences. North Korea has been threatening South Korea for a number of years. South Korea on the other hand has the support of a superpower U.S. which has enabled them to counter most of the fears and threats that North Korea has posed. North Korea recently had made severe accusations against the South Korean Government and their media has been equally participative in putting allegations that South Korea has threatened that they would take special actions against North Korea. In the past few months North Korea has been stating serious threats and has been provocations by their nuclear projects. The new leadership has instigated a new kind of approach which has established a profound authority and has been backed up by the support of USA.

North Korea has stated that they will act soon and has named many countries which could be targeted by them. North Korea has been facing many challenges and is not economically as competitive as compared to South Korea. However North Korea spends a great proportion of its budget on military and has a larger force to back up with it. The major threat that they possess is the nuclear weapons that they have. They are a serious threat to South Korea and South Korea knows the importance of their ties with USA because USA is the one who is keeping them under control and have been posing continuous threat to their nuclear programs with the help of the United Nations.

North Korea has used their local media quite effectively to create propaganda against the South Koreans and have made the general public believe that the South Koreans are planning a massive attack on North Korea and they might be using the nuclear weapons just to counter their attacks. This also helps them in justifying their large expenditure on nuclear programs in the national budget. The main criticism that both the Koreas face is that they have abandoned their agreements.

There have been severe risks of a massive war of destruction between the two countries and it could also involve many other countries. The modern era will be far more destructive with the invention of these high technology nuclear weapons.

Relations with Japan

The relationship between the Japanese and North Koreans have never really established officially. There have been attempts to establish some kind of relations between the two countries many times, but most of the efforts have come from Japan and have failed miserably. There are certain issues between the two countries which seem to be irresolvable. The only development was made in the year 2002, when the leaders of the two countries met and had a long chat on quite a few issues. The differences between the two countries seem to have taken break but there were two major developments which stalled the progress of the talks. The first one was when there were uncertainties regarding the secret nuclear program of North Korea and the other one was when the admission of Kim Jong Il was granted in Japan, a major outrage was there because he was the same person who had kidnapped 13 Japanese and killed 8 of them in 60s and 70s.

Japan holds a critical position in the recent crisis of North Korea’s nuclear program. There are a great many reasons for Japan to be in this critical position. Japan has been involved in giving out many packages of financial aid for the development of nations, as they did for South Korea. They are reported to provide North Korea a package of around $5-10 billion to normalize the relations between the two countries and this package will be beneficial to the North Korean economy as the GDP will rise to$20 billion. This can provide as a solution for the nuclear issue. Japan is a major source for the foreign income in the country. It is the third largest partner in trading for North Korea. A great many black economy operation s are also conducted between the two countries.


It seems quite evident that North Korea has been exceedingly detrimental to U.S. And its allied interests. This also is quite obvious that attacking North Korea is not going to be a wise solution to the problem as it will not eliminate the nuclear power that they possess. The configuration of the military forces of North Korea is as such that they could easily demolish Seoul and the adjacent areas of South Korea. There is a strong support of China to North Korea which eliminates the option of putting trade restrictions and sanctions on them. Therefore the only option left for them is to pursue dialogue which could possibly persuade them to abandon their nuclear weapons and also the production houses which are producing such nuclear weapons at such a large scale.

The negotiation process as mentioned earlier wasn’t really successful since 1994 when it started. However it wasn’t carried out in the best possible manner. It is harder now to negotiate with North Korea after their successful nuclear tests in 2006, because they have gained in authority and stature. The problem is that these nations have conflicting interests and desires, their national interests are clashing with the other countries national interest. When it comes to national security the possibility of emotions taking over brains is high. The negotiations can only work with them if North Korea can be provided a large sum of money and some other benefits if they are willing to give up their nuclear weapons. At the moment no country is willing to take a hard stance against the nuclear threat of North Korea as there can be severe consequences.

The critics have been harsh on Bush regime as the regime didn’t take the negotiations any step forward and as a result of that the North Koreans kept on gaining access to more powerful nuclear technology and became an even bigger threat. It is hard to find a perfect solution for the problem however there are many imperfect solutions which can be thought of and better tradeoffs can be selected. North Korea clearly possesses a major threat to world security and they must be dealt with extreme cautiousness and all the decisions should be taken with a great amount of thought process being involved in it.

North Korea can also be not trusted as they have broken many agreements in the past. They have been carrying out secret operations and secret testing of nuclear weaposn which is against the rules of United Nations. There have been several meetings in the United Nations meetings which have stated that there can be severe consequences if they do not abandon their nuclear weapons but the threats of United Nations seem to be fading out in competition to the threats which are posed by North Korea.

There can be sanctions placed related to trades and trade embargoes can be set up which against North Korea which can have a profound effect on their economy and this might result in their decline in the economy and that will automatically shift their priorities from military expenditures to economical considerations but this can only happen if China is willing to support them in their cause. The job has now been made quite tough because North Korea has gained a lot of nuclear weapons and have mastered in the nuclear technology, if these negotiations of this nature were carried out earlier then North Korea won’t have been able to take a strong stance and make such threats because they only had two uranium bombs in the year 2001.

The negotiations and the agreement whatever it may be, it should always be taken into consideration that North Korea has not been living up to its word in the past therefore they cannot be trusted upon.


United States and South Korea has bitter relations and it emerged after the World War 2, when the occupation of Japan on Korea was eliminated. The division of Korea into two parts that is North Korea and South Korea being caused the eruption of hatred among the people of Korea, as in the Russian governed area, communist regime was facilitated while, in the southern area which was governed by U.S., started the cold war between Russia and United States.

The cold war between U.S. And Russia, took another turn after the Russian disintegration. The disintegration caused by the U.S. support to Anti-USSR occupation in Afghanistan caused Russia to use North Korea as to fight proxy war against U.S. And its supporters.

In 2002, the U.S. president termed North Korea as an axis of evil, which showed that the cold war is still on, but it has changed its course and has turned into new phase. Now, North Korea started to develop and work more vigorously on defense and especially on missile technology to bring South Korea, Japan and U.S. In direct contact with the war and take revenge of the disintegration of only largest Communist regime. Russia still considers itself as one of the Super power of the world, and it is right to some extent, and this state of denial of considering itself as one of the influential country in the world, Russia has not determined its role properly and this has caused it to facilitate the North Korea against the U.S. And its allies.

North Korea is going to be a centre of attention of the world for many other major activities in the near future also. North Korea holds a critical position in the international affairs and the international politics. They might become a major part of World War III if it is going to happen and the destruction will be unimaginable.


Sanctions and War on the Korean Peninsula — Martin Hart-Landsberg and John Feffer, Foreign Policy in Focus, January 17, 2007

National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction — December 2002 White House release

Suzy Kim and John Feffer, “Hardliners Target Detente with North Korea,” Foreign Policy in Focus, 11 February 2008

The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Nuclear Proliferation International History Project The Wilson Center’s Nuclear Proliferation International History Project contains primary source material relating to North Korea’s nuclear weapon program.

Narushige Michishita, The February 13 Action Plan and the Prospects for the North Korean Nuclear Issue, IFRI Proliferation Papers

Bermudez, Joseph S. (1999). “A History of Ballistic Missile Development in the DPRK: First Ballistic Missiles, 1979 — 1989.” James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Retrieved on February 14, 2008.

Albright, David; Brannan, Paul (June 26, 2006). The North Korean Plutonium Stock Mid-2006. Institute for Science and International Security.

Jeffrey Lewis (February 6, 2012). “Two DPRK Nuclear Tests in 2010?.” Retrieved February 7, 2012.

Glenn Kessler, Far-Reaching U.S. Plan Impaired N. Korea Deal: Demands Began to Undo Nuclear Accord, Washington Post, p. A20, September 26, 2008.

Mark Selden, Alvin Y. So (2004). War and state terrorism: the United States, Japan, and the Asia-Pacific in the long twentieth century. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 77-80

Hecker, Siegfried (2009). “The risks of North Korea’s nuclear restart.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Siegfried S. Hecker (2010). A Return Trip to North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Complex? (Report). Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University.

Charles Armstrong (April 2009). Juche and North Korea’s Global Aspirations. North Korea International Documentation Project

Devine, Robert A.; Breen, T.H.; Frederickson, George M.; Williams, R. Hal; Gross, Adriela J.; Brands, H.W. (2007). America Past and Present 8th Ed. Volume II: Since 1865. Pearson Longman. pp. 819 — 821

Chung, Jae Ho. Between Ally and Partner: Korea-China Relations and the United States (2008)

Xu, Yan (29 July 2003). “Korean War: In the View of Cost-effectiveness.” Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in New York.

Wainstock, Dennis (1999). Truman, MacArthur, and the Korean War. p. 137.

Hogan, Michael, ed. (1995). America in the World: The Historiography of American Foreign Relations since 1941. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 290

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