On Febraury 7th, 2016, North Korea successfully launched the satellite “Kwang Myong Song-4” into orbit. Although the rocket did not contain a nuclear warhead, It hinted that North Korea was now capable of producing ICBM -- nuclear missiles that can directly strike the United States, especially since that North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test just a month ago on January 2016.
The international society strongly condemned North Korea’s peace threatening action. South Korea immediately closed Kaesong Industrial Zone, which symbolized economic cooperation between North and the South. The United Nations imposed sanction on North Korea to prevent nuclear-related resources from flowing into North Korea and furthermore to pressure North Korea economically to halt nuclear armament.
Whether North Korea can manufacture ICBM is still questionable. Some experts claim that North Korea is still in its primitive stage in developing ICBM, while others claim that North Korea has the capability to manufacture ICBM. However, many do agree that North Korea has made considerable progress and it eventually would pose nuclear threat on international society if the nuclear missile program continues unhindered.
United Nation’s sanction proved effective; it significantly severed North Korea’s funds to support the nuclear program. On the other hand, many humanist groups reported that the biggest victims of the sanction were the innocent average North Korean people. In fact, the North Korean authority mentioned the possibility of another “Arduous March”, a famine that killed millions of North Korea in the 90s.
There are still more to be done by the international authorities. It seems quite clear that no matter what action they take, the action should minimize the damage on average people but only hinder the development of the peace-threatening nuclear weapons.
Here is the link to the actual North Korean Broadcast