Tensions in North Korea rise

by Skylar Brown
Section Editor

After a failed rocket launch on April 13, North Korea’s military warned Monday, April 23 of  “special actions” against South Korea’s government that would reduce it to ashes. This threat comes shortly after an unsuccessful rocket launch that was meant to send a satellite into space according to North Korea. The failed launch was seen as a disguised ballistic missile test by the West, and was condemned by the United Nations Security Council as a violation of a ban against missile activity.

North Korea also broke promises made to the U.S. in Beijing in February. This promise consisted of the North Korean regime suspending nuclear missile tests, uranium enrichment and long-range missile tests in exchange for food aid from the U.S. After North Korea’s failed missile launch earlier this month the U.S. withheld food aid as they viewed the launch as a violation of the promise. “It’s impossible to imagine that we would be able to follow through with the nutritional assistance that we had planned on providing, given what would be a flagrant violation of North Korea’s basic international obligations,” said White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney.

After a breakdown in relations and expressions of violence, it is expected that North Korea will conduct a nuclear test, as it has done after rocket launches in 2006 and 2009. South Korea has said that their satellites have shown what appears to be the North digging a tunnel for a third nuclear test.  Lt. Col. Nam Dong Ho told The Associated Press, “Nuclear weapons are not the monopoly of the United States;  atomic weapons are needed to defend North Korea from the U.S.  It’s my personal opinion, but I think we’ll continue to conduct nuclear tests.”

On April 23, the North Korean military warned that they would launch “special actions” against the South Korean government and conservative media. Seoul, the South Korean capital, expressed worry that these threats by the North were damaging the relations between the two countries and creating increased animosity. Recently, North Korea has been directing some of these hostilities towards the U.S., claiming it is armed with “powerful modern weapons” capable of defeating the U.S. said a top military chief in Pyongyang. The North did not provide further details about these weapons, but this call to arms comes as the United States and other Western nations warn the North against any other actions that could further raise tensions. It is believed that North Korea has nuclear weapons, but not the means to launch them on long-range missiles.

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