Nuclear North Korea

North Korea confirmed on Tuesday that it had conducted its third nuclear test. This comes just two months after the small nation successfully launched a rocket into orbit, raising serious concerns of North Korea’s long range attack capabilities.

In response to the December launch, the U.N. issued U.N. Security Council Resolution 2087 which condemned it, froze assets and encouraged returns to six party talks. The new nuclear test is partly in response to the U.N. resolution. North Korean envoy Jon Yong Ryong said, “The US and their followers are sadly mistaken if they miscalculate the DPRK would respect the entirely unreasonable resolutions against it.”

The six-party talks, which began in August 2003, involve the U.S., China, Russia, South Korea, Japan, and North Korea. The talks have largely been unsuccessful at halting North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. In 2005, North Korea agreed to end its nuclear weapons program in exchange for security, economic, and energy benefits. However in 2006, North Korea launched seven missiles over the Sea of Japan and conducted its first nuclear test, although many viewed that test as a failure. The U.N. Security council passed a resolution condemning the launches.

Later in 2006, North Korea agreed to resume the six-party talks. A tentative agreement is reached in February of 2007 to provide about $400 million in fuel oil and aid in return for North Korea beginning to disband its nuclear facilities and allowing nuclear inspectors back into the country. In 2008, North Korea demolished the cooling tower at its main weapons plant. However, in 2009, North Korea launches another long range rocket and conducts a second nuclear test. In response, the U.N. passes new sanctions. Then in 2010, North Korea unveils a large new facility for enriching uranium, sinks a South Korean Navy ship, and shells the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. In February 2012, North Korea announced it would suspend nuclear tests and allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to very and monitor facilities in exchange for food aid from the U.S.

Additional Resources

The New York Times, North Korea Confirms It Conducted 3rd Nuclear Test:

Associated Press, North Korea Conducts Third Controversial Nuke Test:

Reuters, Japan Will Consider Sanctions Against North Korea Over Likely Nuclear Test:

Reuters, Obama Statement on N. Korea’s Nuclear Test:

Reuters, North Korea Tells U.N. Will Never Bow to Nuclear Resolutions:

Reuters, North Korea Blast Twice 2009 Size:

Forbes, North Korea Rockets To Orbit:

Council on Foreign Relations, The Six-Party Talks on North Korea’s Nuclear Program:

CIA World Factbook, North Korea:

BBC, UN Gathers for Urgent Talks on North Korea Nuclear Test:

BBC, What is Driving North Korea’s Nuclear Test Plan?

UN Security Council Resolution 287:

BBC, North Korea’s Nuclear Tests:

South Korea Naval War College Review, The Republic of Korea’s Counter-Asymmetric Strategy:

U.S. Department of State, Proliferation Security Initiative:

The American Spectator, What does North Korea Want?

The New York Times, Obama to Renew Drive for Cuts in Nuclear Arms:

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2010:

Global Zero Action Plan:




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