science art | political art oil, oil pastel on canvas, 70X100cm
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or simply North Korea) is the last Stalinist state on earth. It is also the last one to join the nuclear programme. Since the late 1980’s there were fears that North Korea is working on building its own atomic bomb. Though North Korea itself didn’t admit to have done so clearly, neither did it declare the amount of plutonium it possesses despite that the Agreed Framework signed by North Korea and the United States (on 12 October 1994) would constrain it. In exchange for freezing their plutonium program they North Korea was promised fuel, energy (by building light-water nuclear power plants), and economic cooperation. Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea until 17 December 2011, pushed the uranium reprocessing programme forward secretly as, as he later claimed, the U.S. didn’t hold itself to the Agreed Framework. So in 9 October 2006 Korea announced to have made its first underwater nuclear-weapon test. This was followed by another one on 25 May 2009. This, of course, led to a decrease or even halt of supplies coming from the West, basically China remaining its sole trading partner for a long time, which didn’t do too good to the already weak economy.
Since Kim Jong-il’s death his son Kim Jong-un is the new leader of North Korea. He seems to follow a much “friendlier” politics than that of his father’s, giving some allowances to the West like inviting back the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency to the country. However, North Korea launched a satellite in April 2012 which might be indicating that they are developing intercontinental ballistic missiles. Though the launch was unsuccessful, the move was followed by international disapproval, and led to the suspension of food aid by the U.S.