North Korea: No Clear Motive and No Clear Solution

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North Korea has recently attracted the world's attention due to its claims of pursuing nuclear weapons technology. Apparent tests of nuclear devices have riveted the world's attention whilst their leader, Kim Jong Il, threatens peace in the region and the world…

Introduction

The outrageous public demands and threats by a nation half the size of Great Britain and less than one-third of its population can still command the world's attention. The question is not how, but why they would seek to isolate themselves, create international tensions, and ignore the welfare of their people in the face of current international pressure.
To begin to understand North Korea's motives and possible solutions, it's helpful to gain a brief history of the nation. The Korean peninsula has a rich history as a unified nation dating back several centuries. Until the Japanese Imperialism that began at the beginning of the 20th century, Korea was a country that was unified by tradition, language, and ethnicity. Its borders reflected the single ethnic population and the Koreans had experienced several centuries of civil order and law. The imperial occupation of Korea by Japan from 1905-1945 provided a political climate for the split in Korea. Differing political views towards Japan developed in the North and in the South. After the defeat of Japan in World War II, Soviet-American agreements exploited the divisions that had sprung up during the previous decades. Soviet-American actions divided North and South Korea, precipitated the Korean War, and erected a lasting division in a country that had been a united and orderly people just 5 decades earlier.
In 1953, the Military Armistice Commission (MAC) was created to oversee and enforce the terms of ...
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