North Korea. According to countryaah, Pyongyang is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of North Korea. North Korea’s tense relations to the outside world continued this year to dominate the picture. In January, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice characterized the country as one of the “outposts of tyranny”. Earlier, North Korea had been given the epithet “the axis of evil” by President George W. Bush. And as before, Pyongyang utilized the country’s nuclear program as a chip in the security policy game. In February, the regime officially recognized that North Korea has nuclear weapons.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym KP stands for the country of North Korea and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
The long-winded and unsuccessful six-party talks on the country’s nuclear program between North Korea, Russia, China, Japan, the United States and South Korea resumed during the summer after just over a year’s pause. In September, a series of pledges were presented that were described as a breakthrough. The US promised not to militarily attack the country and not to store nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula. The United States and Japan promised normalized diplomatic relations with the North Korea, and China, Russia, the United States, South Korea and Japan all promised to help meet the North Korean energy needs, including oil.
North Korea promised to scrap the nuclear program, allow UN inspections and comply with the non-proliferation agreement, but reserved the right to develop nuclear energy for civilian use. Pyongyang demanded first to build a light water reactor for peaceful use, something the United States thought could wait. Thus the hope of a real breakthrough was shattered again.
In September, Pyongyang informed the UN that food aid was no longer needed and accused the United States of using the aid as a political pressure tool. United Nations Head of Humanitarian Aid, Jan Egeland, warned of an abrupt end to food deliveries. In recent years, the UN has provided nearly 6 million North Koreans with food.
The cautious approach to South Korea continued in August, with around 200 North Koreans being allowed to see a total of about 150 relatives in South Korea after just over half a century of separation. In the same month, 40 split families had seen and talked to each other via video links at the border. According to South Korean authorities, more than 10,000 people have resettled relatives on the other side of the border since the historic North Korea and South Korea summit in 2000. Millions of families split during the split of the Korean Peninsula in 1945 and during the subsequent 1950-53 war.
For three days in October, the North Koreans, on the orders of the regime, celebrated the ruling Communist Party’s 60th anniversary. The celebration was marked by military parades and processions.
2018 Relaxation process
In an effort to lessen the tension, the February 2018 board of Pyongyang announced that North Korea wanted to participate in the subsequent Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. The athletes of the two countries then went under the counter in a joint squad and under the Korean reunion flag. At the same time, the board sent Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, as an envoy to the doctors. After the Games, South Korea sent a senior delegation to North Korea, and subsequently brought an invitation to Washington, where North Korea invited US President Trump to a summit. Without consulting his advisers or the Foreign Office, Trump then accepted the invitation. In any case, Secretary of State Tillerson was fired a few weeks later.
In late March, Kim made his first foreign visit when he visited Beijing, where he was received by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The visit was followed by a summit between Kim and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in in late April. The first meeting of the leaders of the two countries since the Korean War. Formally, they are still at war, as no ceasefire agreement has been signed. The meeting broke down 12 years of warlike South Korean attitude toward the north, affirming that President Moon, unlike his conservative predecessors, sought relaxation. The two heads of state declared their readiness to work towards nuclear relaxation in the Korean Peninsula, perhaps a peace agreement between the two countries, confidence-building measures between the two countries’ military, regular bilateral summits and increased contact between civilians. The conciliatory sentiment at the summit placed the United States as the party still seeking conflict.
In late May, the United States reaffirmed its belligerent attitude when its President Trump canceled without warning the summit with Kim Jong-un. The decision was lamented worldwide – including among the United States allies in East Asia – and triggered hectic diplomatic activity. Among other things. a new and improvised summit between North and South Korea. A few days later, Trump changed his decision again.