Korea, North

Flag of North Korea
  1. Korea, North Main Page
  2. Partition of Korea Leads to War
  3. Famine Overshadows Nuclear Ambitions
  4. Secretive Government Opens Up in Exchange for Aid
  5. Kim Jong Il and U.S. President Bush Engage in Diplomatic Roller Coaster
  6. North and South Korea Establish Closer Ties
  7. Uncertainty Surrounding Nuclear Program Continues
  8. Tension Between North and South Reaches Crisis Point
  9. Kim Jong-il Dies
  10. Kim Jong-un Launches Satellite and Tests Nuclear Device, Testing International Patience
  11. North Korea Threatens U.S., South Korea with War
  12. Reported Leadership Shuffle Sparks Concern
  13. UN Imposes Further Sanctions after Provocations
Secretive Government Opens Up in Exchange for Aid

North Korea, one of the world's most secretive societies, has been accused of egregious human-rights violations, including summary executions, torture, inhumane conditions in prison camps and denial of freedom of expression and movement. Access to the country is strictly limited and North Korea's domestic media is tightly controlled, making it difficult to substantiate the accusations. Some nongovernmental organizations, however, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have spoken to North Korean refugees who have experienced persecution.

In Sept. 1998, North Korea launched a test missile over Japan, claiming it was simply a scientific satellite, raising suspicions regarding North Korea's nuclear intentions. In 1999, North Korea agreed to allow the United States to conduct ongoing inspections of a suspected nuclear development site, Kumchangri. In exchange, the U.S. would increase food aid and initiate a program for bringing potato production to the country.

Tension with South Korea eased dramatically in June 2000, when South Korea's president, Kim Dae Jung, met with North Korea's President Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang. The summit marked the first-ever meeting of the two countries' leaders. But efforts toward reconciliation fizzled thereafter.

Next: Kim Jong Il and U.S. President Bush Engage in Diplomatic Roller Coaster
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