Understanding the U.S. and N.K. relationship

Trump’s America is frequently forced to speculate on the nature of U.S. and Korean relations--but what exactly are they?

Aleah Josphsen, Co-Sports Editor

According to North Korea-History, North Korea was established in 1948 after the United States and the Soviet Union divided their control over the 38th parallel; the latitude at which North Korea and South Korea are separated. The struggle for control between the Communist Soviet Union and the U.S was a direct cause of the Korean War; a war which caused North Korea’s nuclear quest. Though an armistice was agreed upon in 1953, no formal treaties were ever signed causing more tension.

After the Korean War, leader Kim Il-sung shaped the country into one of self-reliance and isolation, which we can still see today. The government has strict control over economic, social and political aspects of everyday life.

In the early 2000s, there was brief hope for peace between the U.S. and North Korea, but that was quickly diminished when North Korea started nuclear testing and research. According to PBS Frontline, Their first nuclear test was in October 2006 which quickly escalated within the 10 years following under Kim Jong Un; the current supreme leader of North Korea. SInce 2006, North Korea has conducted around 6 tests, added a hydrogen bomb and an intercontinental missile.

In February 2019 when the most recent U.S. and North Korean summit failed, tensions have begun to rise beyond levels felt before. Between name-calling, ridicule and formal talks, the U.S. has yet to reach an agreement with North Korea. The February summit abruptly ended when Kim insisted on all sanctions being lifted without a full denuclearization (CNN). As of March 8th, new activity at a Korean launch site has raised concern over an upcoming attack on U.S. soil. Though an unsuspecting attack is wary, talks between the two countries are currently off the table.