Tensions are rapidly rising between North and South Korea. The situation got worse quickly after North Korea launched a rocket that sent a spy satellite into space. Both sides have now pulled away from a 2018 agreement that was meant to prevent conflicts.
North Korea and South Korea are two countries on the Korean Peninsula. The two countries have been separated since 1945. The border between North and South Korea is called the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The border is heavily protected by both countries. The situation on the Korean Peninsula is a serious one that could affect much of the world.
In 2018, the leaders of the two countries at the time, Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in, agreed to a plan meant to reduce the chances of a war. The agreement required both sides to take down some of the military equipment and buildings along their border. It also set up a “no-fly zone” over the land and sea border.
But the agreement was always a little shaky. South Korea has accused North Korea of breaking the agreement many times. South Korea’s military has also been unhappy with the no-fly zone because it made it harder to keep an eye on North Korea’s activities.
South Korea’s current leader, President Yoon Suk-yeol, has criticized the 2018 agreement. And he warned that South Korea might pull out of the agreement if North Korea launched its satellite.
In spite of the warning, last Tuesday, North Korea launched a rocket which put a military spy satellite, called “Malligyong-1” into orbit. Spy satellites are used to take pictures or collect information about other countries. Many countries have satellites like these.
But North Korea’s rocket launch broke the rules of the United Nations (UN). The UN has told North Korea that it’s not allowed to launch rockets like these. That’s because the same technology that launches satellites can also be used to launch weapons.
In recent years, North Korea has launched many long-range missiles. These “tests” also break UN rules. The long-range missiles are especially worrying because North Korea has worked hard to develop nuclear weapons.
After the North launched its satellite, Mr. Yoon said he would suspend the no-fly zone part of the 2018 agreement.
North Korea was not happy with South Korea’s decision. The next day, North Korea announced it was pulling out of the agreement completely.
This image has not been loaded because of your cookie choices. To view the content, you can accept 'Non-necessary' cookies.
Yesterday, South Korea’s military reported that it had spotted North Korean soldiers building new guard posts and putting in heavy weapons along the border.
The rising tensions are a concern not just to South Korea, but also to other nearby countries like Japan, as well as the United States. North Korea’s nuclear program, its growing military power, and its threats are very worrying.
It doesn’t help that North Korea appears to be growing closer to Russia. Russia is believed to have helped North Korea launch its spy satellite. North Korea claims the satellite has already sent back pictures of a US military base on an island in the Pacific Ocean.