Overview of North Korea Crisis

The Korean peninsula was divided into Communist and non-Communist sectors the aftermath of World War II. From an economic standpoint non-Communist South Korea has prospered whereas North Korea has become one of the poorest countries in the world since the collapse of the Soviet Union. This result is in part due to their economic isolation from most countries.

In response to its global isolation, North Korea threatened to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1993. This threat was resolved through diplomacy until the Bush Administration in 2001 reneged on promises made in that diplomacy relating to nuclear electricity generation. Ultimately North Korea became the first country to formally withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003.

North Korea agreed to suspend its nuclear program in subsequent negotiations in 2005 as the result of further diplomacy but that agreement subsequently failed over disputes relating to verification. North Korea has developed an active program with multiple missile tests since that time.

Most recently there has been an effort by President Donald Trump to resolve the crisis with direct diplomacy with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The result of this effort has not yet resulted in a formal agreement.