North Korea: Nuclear Friend or Foe?

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North Korea: Nuclear Friend or Foe?


It is 2025. After decades of bickering and intense fighting, India and Pakistan finally break out into general war. Millions are killed in the nuclear exchange. Other countries are drawn into the fray, ultimately widening the landscape of war. The death toll reaches a billion lives. In essence, you are witnessing a nuclear holocaust.

Fortunately, this is a completely fictitious event; something one would think was straight out of a movie. The scary part is that as more and more countries begin to acquire nuclear weapons, further nuclear research, and pursue other nuclear-related projects, this can be very real. It might happen in ten years, a few months, or even – tomorrow.

The issue of nuclear proliferations is an issue of much concern by the United States. Since its creation back in the 1940s through the Manhattan project, the atomic bomb has been the bane of society, in terms of the level of potential threat it holds for the international community. The focus of this paper looks at U.S. policy towards nuclear proliferation, both past and present, with a special focus on the status of North Korea. For some analysts and many governmental officials, North Korea seems to be the next big threat to U.S. and international security. Proponents of this belief cite statements made by North Korea, efforts to enrich used fuel rods, and other pursuits to utilize nuclear power in some way or other.

In an effort to really break down on a critical level the United States’ approach towards the country of North Korea, this paper examines not only the historical context of U.S./North Korea relations, but also the U.S. stance towards proliferation among such countries as Iran, Libya, Israel, India, Pakistan, and other countries. In using other countries to compare and contrast U.S. policy, hopefully this will bring about some sort of rationale behind the approach to North Korea. Understandably, the issue is way more complex than just a chosen stance towards each individual country. History, political balance, as well as, the intent of the U.S. administration at the time shape the policy instituted toward the particular country.

A Colored History

On June 27, 1950, President Harry S. Truman “authorized the use of American land, sea, and air forces in Korea; a week later, the United Nations placed the forces of 15 other member nations under U.

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