The History of Conflict Between The United States and North Korea

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Jacob Coleman, OwlFeed News Reporter 

The United States and North Korea have had their issues over the years going all the way back to the 1950s, and as time has passed, we have seen tensions rise and compromises made in this troubled relationship. 

But where did it all start? We will have to go back to the midst of the Cold War.

The real conflict began when the United States decided to aid South Korea in the Korean War. From that point on, words would be exchanged by the leaders of both countries. During this time, North Korea was controlled by the Kim Dynasty. The Kim family have kept similar ideologies as leaders have changed. They have run North Korea under a dictatorship for a long time.

Kim Il Sung stated in a speech, “Ever since the Korean War, they always assumed that Washington would attack them any day and wipe them out… The only way for them to survive and not get attacked would be to develop the most powerful weapon on Earth, which would be the nuclear bomb.” With the aid of the Soviet Union during the war, North Korea began the development of their nuclear weapon complex.

Fast forward 60 years and we have seen the conflict escalate between the two nations. Over recent years, we have seen North Korea launch test missiles over Japan and into the ocean near the mainland. These launches have violated the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which North Korea agreed to in 1985, which in turn would stop their production of nuclear weapons.

During President Trump’s term, he was very vocal about his feelings towards North Korea’s current leader Kim Jung Un. Both leaders had a war of words and insults to each other, while many threats were also being thrown around between both nations.

North Korea kept testing its nuclear weapons, one even possibly able to reach Alaska. However, surprising to many in March of 2018, it was announced that President Trump and Kim Jung Un had plans of having a meeting.  The two powers met and reports stated that their conversation was positive and was on the way to making progress in the relationship. 

After the meeting on April 20, 2018, North Korea announced that it will stop its weapon testing and shut down six of its previous test sites. PBS reported, “President Trump and Kim Jong Un shook hands, and the statement they signed said Trump “committed to provide security guarantees” to North Korea, and Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” 

We have seen this conflict go to extreme lengths over this 70-year history, but as of recently, it seems we are closer to peace than we have ever been.