The Democratic People's Republic of Korea conducted several missiles and nuclear tests since 1990s. However, the North Korean nuclear ambition dates back to 1962 when they asked a help to develop nuclear weapon from the Soviet Union and China. At that time, they both refused, however the Soviet Union agreed to help to build nuclear research center but not nuclear weapon itself. Soviet union specialists took part of Yongbyong Nuclear Scientific Research Center, which became active in 1965. Later it was shut down on 13th February 2007 after an agreement was reached in six party talks. However, some people believe that Yongbyong was reactivated and until now fully operational again. The North Korea conducted missile tests in 1993. 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2016 and nuclear tests in 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2016. In 2006 and 2009, analysts believe that they used plutonium but analysts not sure if they used plutonium or uranium. In 2016, the North Koreans claimed that they used hydrogen bomb. Since, scientists don't know the material they used, they analyzed from the size of explosion. All except US are skeptical that the bomb was made of hydrogen. Both in 2005 and 2012, North Koreans promised to give up its nuclear ambition in exchange of food aid. As today, in six party talk and aid to North Korea did not help to stop its nuclear ambition. The UN tightened sanctions in 2013 further. On 7th of February 2016, the DPRK claimed that they put satellite on the orbit for peaceful purpose and scientific research despite huge criticism from many nations including Japan and China. After this event the UN voted to put more sanctions in North Korea. The actual capability of the last nuclear test were 10 to 15 kiloton range, whereas a full thermonuclear blast would be closer to 100 kilotons. However, the full capability of nuclear power of the North Korea is not easy to determine. 

 

(A photo was taken from www.bbc.com) 

 

References: 

http://www.nti.org/learn/countries/north-korea/ 


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