Anatomy of a Crisis: The North Korea threat

No Comments » August 12th, 2017 posted by // Categories: World Affairs


Anatomy of a Crisis: The North Korea threat

By  and 

North Korea tests a ballistic missile experts say could reach the continental United States.
The United Nations Security Council unanimously passes sanctions on North Korean exports in response to its missile tests.

The United Nations Security Council just voted 15-0 to sanction North Korea. China and Russia voted with us. Very big financial impact!

Trump promises “Fire and Fury” will meet North Korean threats.

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

General Kim Rak Gyom, head of North Korea’s strategic missile forces, outlined a plan to fire missiles into the waters around Guam and derided President Trump.

“Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him.”

President Trump warns U.S. military is prepared to respond to any North Korean attack.

Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!

Guam’s Joint Information Center releases a fact sheet “preparing for an imminent missile threat.”

Where North Korea can strike

For years, North Korea has had the ability to launch short-range missiles at targets up to 800 miles away. But this year, North Korea successfully tested intermediate-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Experts now think the country is capable of hitting targets more than 7,000 miles away, which includes cities in the continental United States.





Active U.S.






Missile type


7,200 miles







South Korea







New York




San Francisco

Missile tests have increased under Kim

North Korea’s nuclear program has grown under Kim Jong Un, while missile ranges have considerably expanded. Kim conducted 24 missile tests in 2016 and 14 tests already in 2017.

Missile ranges

1984’90’92’98’06’09’12’142017Apr 9Dec 12Jul 28ShortMidIntermediateIntercontinental

Successful missile tests

Apr. 9, 1984: North Korea first begins testing variants of Soviet Scud missiles.

Dec. 12, 2012: Kim Jong Un becomes ruler in the wake of his father’s death.

July 28, 2017: North Korea fires its second intercontinental ballistic missile.

Failed missile tests


Guam is a target because it’s close. It’s also home to important American military bases.

Only 2,100 miles southeast of North Korea, Guam is a strategic target because of its two American military bases — Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam. There are 3,831 U.S. military personnel stationed there in addition to several B-1 bombers and fighter jets.

Pati point


US Air Force Base


Andy South

Naval Base Guam


Pacific Ocean


Reef Flat

A timeline of escalation between North Korea and the United States


Cold War tensions divide Korea on ideological grounds

Prior to World War II, Japan colonized Korea for 35 years. Following Japan’s surrender, the Soviet Union and the United States divided the Korean Peninsula into northern and southern regions. In the north, the Soviet Union installed Kim Il Sung, a communist who ushered in the North Korean dictatorship still in place today, ruled by his grandson, Kim Jong Un.


U.S. and South Korea sign Mutual Defense Treaty

Following the Korean War, North and South Korea signed an armistice to halt the fighting, but tensions remained high. The U.S. agreed to a Mutual Defense Treaty with South Korea, ensuring the U.S. would maintain a troop presence in the region to protect from a North Korean invasion.


North Korea captures U.S.S. Pueblo

Despite the armistice, North Korea continued provoking the U.S. and South Korea, including with the capture of the U.S.S. Pueblo, an intelligence-gathering ship. North Korea held the ship’s crew captive for one year before President Lyndon Johnson signed an apology for espionage, which he immediately retracted once the crew returned safely.


North Korean soldiers ax two American soldiers to death in demilitarized zone

A patrol of U.S. and South Korean soldiers skirmished with North Korean soldiers while trimming a tree in the demilitarized zone, leading to North Korean soldiers killing two Americans with axes. The United States considered a range of military responses but opted to send dozens of helicopters, bombers and fighter jets along with hundreds of soldiers to finish chopping down the tree.


CIA warns Clinton, North Korea may have produced one or two nuclear bombs.

A CIA report, leaked to The New York Times, concluded that there was a “better than even” chance that North Korea possessed one or two nuclear bombs because of its purchase of plutonium, as well as the discovery of craters at testing sites that appeared to be created from nuclear tests.


U.S. and North Korea come to terms on Agreed Framework

While North Korea signed the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1985, they threatened to leave in 1993. After multiple stalled attempts, the U.S. and North Korea signed the Agreed Framework, which ordered North Korea to cease its nuclear power plant program and remain part of the international treaty in exchange for better diplomatic relations.


U.S. declares North Korea in violation of 1994 framework because of its uranium enrichment program

President George W. Bush labeled North Korea part of the “axis of evil” in his 2002 State of the Union address, accusing it of manufacturing “weapons of mass destruction” and violating the 1994 Agreed Framework. Later that year, North Korea revealed its uranium enrichment program, a key step in manufacturing nuclear weapons.


Six-party talks accomplish little to deter North Korean nuclear progress

The Bush administration sought a diplomatic approach with North Korea, bringing in China, Japan, Russia and South Korea for a series of “six-party” negotiations. The group met six times, attempting to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula; however, North Korea frequently violated the terms of agreements reached at the talks, launching multiple missile and nuclear tests.


“Leap Day Agreement” fails

In late 2011 and 2012, President Barack Obama resumed bilateral negotiations with North Korea, reaching an agreement on Feb. 29, 2012, in which North Korea would stop tests on long-range missiles and nuclear programs in exchange for nutritional assistance. Weeks later, North Korea attempted to launch a satellite into orbit, which the State Department considered a violation of the agreement, and further negotiations fell apart.


North Korea hacks Sony; U.S. tightens sanctions in response

Inflamed by the Sony-produced film The Interview lampooning North Korea, a group called the Guardians of Peace launched a cyberattack on Sony, leaking unreleased films, emails and other confidential documents. The United States determined North Korea was behind the attack and tightened sanctions on the country.


President Donald Trump tweets military options “locked and loaded” to respond to North Korea

Following a series of escalating threats, President Trump tweeted, “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”

Leave a Reply


Home | About | Contact | Login