Relations between the United States and North Korea have been strained since the Korean conflict in the 1950s. Tensions between the two countries have heightened in the past year. Not only have tensions mounted between the United States and North Korea, but also between North Korea and its neighbors. This paper will give a brief history and look at a few significant events, occurring over the past decade that has led up to the current deterioration of United States/North Korean relations and note events that have and continue to affect the relationship today.
To fully understand North Korean/American relations of today, it is necessary to look to history to comprehend how events have influenced recent events.
North Korea became a state in 1948 following the chaos after the end of World War II. Behind the state is the Great Leader Kim Il-sung—the leader that has controlled and shaped the country for more than 50 years. His philosophy is called the personal philosophy of Juche, or self-reliance. The result of Kim Il-sung’s rule has been to create one of the most secretive states in the world and a state-controlled country highly dependent on the cult-like atmosphere that Kim Il-sung led (Country Profile: North Korea).
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