Here's What You Need To Know About North Korea's Nuclear Weapons

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 18: A fan dressed as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un poses on Day 13 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 18, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by William Volcov/Brazil Photo Press/LatinContent/Getty Images)

Here's What You Need To Know About North Korea's Nuclear Weapons

With fears of a looming war, here's a quick guide about the country and its leader.

Published April 15, 2017

North Korea is a very mysterious place. It’s largely without modern technology, transportation and food for a majority of its people.

Korea in general is a place of political unrest and obscurity and has been that way since 1953.

With Donald Trump occupying the White House, tensions have been rising between Pyongyang and Washington D.C. Just a few hours ago, the North Korean military test fired a missile that’s launch failed. That came after an annual display of their military strength in the nation’s capital.

With all of that, here are some things you should know about the Communist North and its military:

  • It’s uncertain how big North Korea’s military is. Estimates range anywhere between 1.5 and 6 million trained reserves. These fighters come from the country’s Workers and Peasants Militia with some of the fighters on standby if war is initiated.
  • North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, won his nation’s last election in 2014 garnering 100 percent of the vote. Overall, he’s been in office since April 13, 2012.
  • Military spending in Pyongyang is 15.8 percent of the national budget, according to the North Korean state, however most other studies estimate it in the 25 to 38 percent range. It’s the biggest military per-capita in the world.
  • Economically, the country is largely stricken with poverty with many dying of starvation and living in third world conditions. Only 3 percent of the roads are paved, according to CIA World Factbook. The gross domestic product, per capita, is $1,800. It’s $51,638 in the United States.
  • North Korea has test launched nine missiles including nuclear, short-range and intercontinental ballistics, among others, since Kim Jung Un took office. He’s already tested three in 2017, not including today’s failed launch.
  • Recently, North Korea said it has developed and would launch a missile that could strike the mainland United States, however experts believe a lot more time will be needed to figure out the technology of making that happen. Choe Ryong Hae, a close aide to Mr. Kim, threatened military action if it continues to be provoked. "If the United States wages reckless provocation against us, our revolutionary power will instantly counter with annihilating strike, and we will respond to full-out war with full-out war and to nuclear war with our style of nuclear strike warfare," he said.

What’s Trump’s policy toward North Korea? The full-scale attitude is still somewhat unknown, however it’s actually similar to President Obama’s. Trump recently publically stated that the North Korean problem would “be taken care of.”

As for what’s next? Uncertainty remains as the North Korean regime is and has been unpredictable. You’ll want to pay attention to the facts of the aftermath of this most recent missile launch. It could indicate what’s ahead for U.S. policy toward the unstable country.

Check out video below about the military parade and reportedly failed missile launch below.

Written by Paul Meara

(Photo: William Volcov/Getty Images)


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