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Us/North Korea Relations Essay

1569 words - 6 pages

U.S "" North Korean Relations Korea is a 600 mile peninsula jutting out from Manchuria, China and part of the former Soviet Union, into the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea off Eastern Asia. North Korea exists slightly above the 38th parallel, and exists in an area about the size of Pennsylvania. This makes it hard to believe that such a small area can cause so much tension and difficulty in US foreign policy. But North Korea now remains as one of the last standing communist led dictatorships in the world. In recent years and months, tension has risen between the US and North Korea over nuclear arms, economic sanctions imposed by the US and the increasing military presence of the US in eastern Asia. Now that the Soviet Union has dissolved, the heart of the cold war exists in North Korea, on a much smaller level right now but still possessing the characteristics to be an extreme danger in the future.Korea was separated into two sections following World War II. The North was controlled by communist Russia and the South was under US control. In 1948 two new governments were created in Korea, which has separated the region for good. The North became a communist dictatorship and the South a democracy. On June 25th 1950, the North, hoping to unify Korea under a single communist government made a surprise invasion of the South. They took control of Seoul for a short time but were pushed back by UN and American forces following their policy of containment toward the communist threat. An armistice was signed on July 27th 1953, which ended the war physically and left Korea divided between communist North and democratic South on the 38th parallel.Today North Korea is seen as one of the last serious communist threats existing in the world. The US has maintained economic sanctions against North Korea for nearly 50 years. Diplomatic relations between the two countries has bee nearly nill. Attention has increased significantly on North Korea from the US after the break up of the Soviet Union. The idea that North Korea is a serious threat has worsened now that North Korea has expanded its nuclear program. North Korea has been found to posses a 5MW reactor with the ability to produce plutonium and a reprocessing facility. They also have two large gas graphite reactors under construction. In August 1998, without notification, North Korea launched a missle/satellite that passed over Japan and demonstrated its three-stage rocket technology. All of these factors have led the US to take imidiate action in preventing further development of the North Korean nuclear capabilities.In 1994, former US President Jimmy Carter went to North Korea to negotiate with, then leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung. The result of the meeting was the creation of the Agreed Framework. Under this agreement, North Korea was required to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for shipments of heavy fuel oil from the US and two light-water nuclear reactors to be built by an international...

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