North Korea. Relations with South Korea, which deteriorated significantly in 2008, were further aggravated when North Korea’s leadership declared in January that a non-aggression pact and other political and military agreements no longer applied. The play may have been a mark directed at the United States, where Barack Obama just took over as president, ahead of new talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Thereafter, the country announced its intention to launch a communications satellite. The outside world feared that the plans were instead to test shoot a long-range robot, and the tone hardened. On April 5, the launch was carried out.
According to countryaah, the UN Security Council has criticized North Korea in fairly restrained terms and without tightening sanctions on the country, but the government nevertheless ruled and responded by ordering the representative of the UN Atomic Energy Agency IAEA out of the country. The government announced that it no longer intended to participate in six-party talks on the country’s nuclear program (with Japan, China, the Russian Federation, South Korea and the United States), but would instead resume its nuclear program. North Korea immediately took action and shocked the world by May 25 to conduct an underground nuclear test. It took place in the same area as the country’s first test blast in 2006 with a much more powerful charge. In the days following, several short-range robots were also piloted from bases on the east coast. In addition, the North Korean leadership announced that the ceasefire agreement concluded with South Korea at the end of the war in 1953 was no longer valid. The countries have never concluded any real peace agreement. The Security Council was summoned quickly, and this time clear condemnations also came from China and the Russian Federation, which would otherwise be restrained with the criticism. In June, the UN tightened the sanctions imposed on North Korea following the 2006 crackdown.
The same month, they were notified against two US journalists arrested in March on the Tumen border with China. They were accused of illegally entering the country and committing “hostile acts”. Euna Lee and Laura Ling were both sentenced to twelve years in prison. In August, US President Bill Clinton unexpectedly traveled to North Korea, where he met, among other things, leader Kim Jong Il, who pardoned both journalists and allowed them to return to the United States.
In August, signs of an opening in the frozen relations with the outside world came. North Korea understood that it now wanted to have a dialogue with the United States, which, however, required all bilateral talks to be held within the framework of six-party talks. The tone towards South Korea also softened as North Korea expressed its willingness to re-allow certain cross-border travel and more family reunions. When former South Korean President Kim Dae Jung passed away at the end of the month, North Korea expressed its reverence. Kim Dae Jung was the architect of South Korea’s relaxation policy towards North Korea in the early 2000s.
In October, South Korea offered to resume its humanitarian aid to North Korea, for the first time since the Seoul government change in early 2008. It was mainly grain and milk powder, but quantities were far from enough to meet the needs of the country, which according to the UN suffered. of new famine. The UN Food Program WFP reported that one third of all women and children were malnourished.
In what was interpreted as an attempt to stop private small businesses, and possibly to curb inflation, a currency reform was implemented in December. There were reports of unusually loud protests from citizens who lost large parts of their savings when old banknotes became useless.