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What's All the Fuss about North Korea?


More of this Feature

• Part 2: The Long Answer

On This Site

The Korean War
• What's All the Fuss About Iraq?

Part 1: The Short Answer

The news these days is full of talk about North Korea. Why is that?

Well, that question has a short answer and a long answer.

Here's the short answer:

  • North Korea is controlled by Kim Jong Il, a dictator who has almost total control of his country.
  • North Korea has recently announced that it did not stop its nuclear weapons program as promised in 1994. Back then, North Korea agreed to stop nuclear testing in exchange for U.S. assistance in building two nuclear power plants, which the North Koreans to use only for peaceful purposes.
  • North Korea has very recently said that it will resume working on nuclear bombs and, further, said it would no longer abide by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, an agreement signed by all the world's major nations that prohibits the building of nuclear weapons.
  • Many people also think that North Korea already has at least one atomic bomb, which is the most powerful weapon ever invented. For all these reasons, not too many people like North Korea right now.

This has happened before with North Korea, although not to this extent. In 1999, famine was killing thousands of people in North Korea. In exchange for allowing inspections of its nuclear plants, North Korea got billions of dollars in food.

But right now, with the attentions of the Western World apparently focused on Iraq, the situation in North Korea has a chance of getting worse very quickly.

Does North Korea have a nuclear bomb? Will the North invade South Korea? These are questions that will be answered in time. That's what all the fuss is about.

Next page > The Long Answer > Page 1, 2 

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