Essay Sample on Korean War: Ceasefire, Cold War, & the Rise of a Nuclear-armed North Korea

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  2
Wordcount:  534 Words
Date:  2023-03-12

The Korean War never ended. The ceasefire in separated the Korean peninsula into the Republics of North and South Korea. During the Cold War, the North enjoyed the military protection of China. It also acquired atomic and then a nuclear bomb to deter a resumption of hostilities. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, America has become the globe's only military superpower. Pyongyang has been using its nuclear weapons program as a foreign policy tool to not only deter an American invasion but also to avoid international sanctions and get foreign aid to prop up its communist dictatorship.

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Nuclear weapons are delivered using ballistic missiles. The North has avoided international sanctions on weapon sales and build a ballistic missile program. A common foreign policy program has been to force both the South and the United States to the negotiation table using ballistic missile tests. In exchange for foreign aid or relaxation of sanctions, they would make promises to scale down their ballistic missile program and undertake to eventually eradicate its nuclear program.

The Obama administration largely followed this strategy of appeasement to reduce tensions which could escalate to war. The North may not have the capabilities to strike American cities but they may use nuclear-armed ballistic missiles on the South and America's other military ally in the region, Japan. The South has also favored the foreign policy of appeasement to try and build bridges with the North. For instance, Seoul has entered into bilateral agreements with Pyongyang to create joint economic zones.

The current Trump administration took a very different approach. It has used threats of actually invading the North to force them to flip the script and force Kim Jong-Un to the negotiating table(Sang-hun, "North Korea Launches 2 Rockets"). The problem that has arisen is that unlike in the past, America will not budge on the issue of immediate denuclearization. After the Trump administration envoys determined the North was not ready to immediately denuclearize, they terminated diplomatic engagements.

The North has become unsettled with the lack of diplomatic engagement with Washington (Sang-hun, "North Korea Launches 2 Rockets"). On November 28th, there was a media report of North Korea launching two rockets just days after firing artillery near its sea border with South Korean and Japan(Herald, "Holding Nuke Talks"). The North Korean state media revealed that test on Monday, drawing a protest from South Korea, which accused the North of violating an agreement not to conduct military drills near the border.

South Korea's leaders believe that these acts of aggression are just a symptom of a desire by the North to reengage with America diplomatically (Herald, "Holding Nuke Talks"). On December 2nd, the South Korean ministry created to facilitate the political reunification of Korea, issued a statement that before Kim Jong-Un's New Year address, the United States needs to engage with the North using high-level working meetings.

Works Cited

Herald. "Holding Nuke Talks This Month Will Affect N. Korea's Policymaking for next Year: Minister." The Korea Herald, The Korea Herald, 2 Dec. 2019,

Sang-hun, Choe. "North Korea Launches 2 Rockets, South Says." The New York Times, The New York Times, 28 Nov. 2019,

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Essay Sample on Korean War: Ceasefire, Cold War, & the Rise of a Nuclear-armed North Korea. (2023, Mar 12). Retrieved from

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