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North Korea, a quiet progress

It is not new, since the Panmunjeom armistice on 27 July 1953 never went to a peace agreement. Kim Jong-Un, a 34-year-old young dictator, came to power on 18 December 2011 in the morning, after his father's natural death.

There were several international reactions: the most optimistic hoped the Swiss education received at the international school of Bern could lead the young Kim to more pro-western positions, the others, for the same reasons, were afraid of such an inexperienced guide would be able to lead to a puppet state under the Chinese leadership or to a military coup.

The facts will tell another history, Kim will resume immediately his father missile research policy and he will perform the first tests on 19 December.

Barely a month later, the first achievements arrived on 13 January 2012, the launch of 3 short-range Kn-02 missiles for a range of 120 km was successful.

In the same year purges will be ordered against real and presumed "enemies of the state", ending in fact to take out the old guard, the only potential threat to the continuity of the dinasty. He also achieved an agreement with Washington for freezing the nuclear programme in exchange for 240.000 tons of food to face the food crisis of the country.

The treaty was declared null and void when on 12 February 2014 North Korea succeeded in the third nuclear test in the country history after those in 2006 and 2009. The international cummunity answer was not long in coming and on 7 March 2013 the United Nations Security Council approved unanimously the 2094 Resolution which included the request to put an end to nuclear tests, financial penalties and freezing of foreign accounts for every activities linked to North Korea's nuclear programme. The tension rises, Pyongyang cuts the red line with Seoul and declares void the armistice of 1953 after joint exercises between US and North Korea troops on the Southern border. The diplomatic skirmishes are just postponed, 12 months later Barack Obama, the South Korea president Park Geun-Hye and the Japanese First Minister Shinzo Abe met for a trilateral about nuclear security and in response North Korean test (with success) two medium range missiles with a path of 630 km. We must wait until 20 May 2015 for the Kcna, the official news agency of the regime, to communicate the State is now able to miniaturize the nuclear warheads and to install them on the missile carriers.

On 6 January 2016 the fourth nuclear test was done, the Kcna communicates the denotation of a hydrogen bomb took place then verified by the intelligence such an enhanced fission bomb. Pyongyang stars a pounding campaign: on 20 June 2016 two Musudan missiles were launched for about 400 km, on 19 July other three missiles for 600 km, on 3 August a Rondong missile flies over the Japan sea for 1000 km, falling into Japanese territorial waters (which has not happened since 1998) and on 9 September the fifth atomic test was made.

The United Nations Security Council holds an emergency meeting and introduces new sanctions. It tries to avoid a conflit with catastrophic endings, but there is someone who judges Kim policy like a way to renforce his internal power and nothing more, who instead thinks the young dictator has learned by Saddam Hussein and Mu'ammar Gheddafi death, both dismissed after refusing to stop their nuclear programme.  Instead Pyongyang, analysts continue, aims to quickly reach the status of "nuclear power" for tearing a moratorium just like Israel, India and Pakistan with an evident slap to TNP traties for the nuclear non-proliferation. The diplomatic functionaries work around the clock and the recent events disrupt the cards. On 4 July 2017, United States Independence Day, Pyongyang launches successfully the first ICBM missile (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile). So, Hawsong 14 is able to achieve the American soil with a nuclear warhead. The dummy plans of a far 2011 are dramatically realized to every international actors.

On 28 August the 18th launch of the year was made and this time the vector flies over Japanese skies unleashing a high alert status between Japanese people and the immediate meeting of the Security Council. The condemnation arrived unanimous after the fresh approval of the 2371 Resolution on 7 August with which penalties were risen to a third of the North Korea's Marketplace thanks to a  Chinese decisive contribution, the Pyongyang main trading partner. Diplomats invite to keep calm while Pyongyang and Washington promise mutual destruction. Dialectical skirmishes follow the facts and on 3 September North Korea successfully conducted the sixth atomic test of the country and this time it is about a hydrogen bomb. North Korea nuclear programme continues unabated and Kim seems near to realize his ancestors project. Will be the solution the long awaited peace agreement and never granted?

Translated by Giorgia Melis


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  • L'Autore

    Fabio Di Gioia

    Dottore in Scienze internazionali ed istituzioni europee, attualmente si sta specializzando nel corso di laurea magistrale in Relazioni Internazionali. Presidente del Collegio dei Revisori dei Conti, co-ideatore del progetto TrattaMI Bene e autore in quest’ultimo e nella sua rubrica Dŏmĭna.

    Doctor of International Sciences and European Institutions, he is currently specializing in the Master's degree course in International Relations. President of the Board of Supervisors, co-creator of the project TrattaMI Bene and author in the latter and in his column Dŏmĭna.

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North Korea, a quiet progress

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