North Korea’s Complicated, Conflict-laden Relationship The United States

By Bradley Short


In the past, North Korea and the United States have had a very hostile and confusing relationship. These issues can be traced back to the Korean War which lasted from June 25th, 1950 to July 27th, 1953. This war started after many battles broke out between North Korea and South Korea on the border, then escalating tensions between the two countries. This stemmed from the fact that South Korea was a US ally and did not want to be invaded by the communist, Soviet-backed North Korea.

In the last couple of years, the United States and North Korea have had many troubles, especially due to North Korea's nuclear program and tests. Since the start of the program, North Korea has launched many nuclear missiles striking nearly 1,000 miles away, as well as making many nuclear threats to the United States. This sort of rivalry has also been magnified due to particular comments by then President of the United States, George W. Bush, about North Korea. After North Korea had announced its nuclear program, he called the country part of “the Axis of Evil” due to its nuclear program.

In the last couple of years, there has been much of controversy involving Otto Frederick Warmbier, an American college student from Ohio, who was arrested for theft after attempting to steal a propaganda poster in North Korea. After being caught, he was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment with hard labor. Which later caused him to fall into a coma due to unknown causes. After North Korea later released him due to the United States’ request, he later passed away after his parents decided to take him off of the feeding tube. The United States blames North Korea for harming one of its citizens.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un discussing US soldiers remains.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un discussing US soldiers remains.

Since president Donald Trump's election, he has tried to make an effort to improve relations with North Korea. In March of 2018, Trump announced that he would be meeting with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un. They had planned to meet up in May of 2018, but things later went South after North Korea cut off their ties with South Korea, and made a threat to not meet for the planned U.S. North Korea summit. Later after June of 2018, it was announced that the plan to meet up was back on, and they would be meeting in the neutral location of Singapore. In this summit, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un spoke about security, as well as peace concerns.