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Post Column: North Korean missile tests a worrisome challenge to U.S.

North Korea announced Thursday its plans for a third nuclear test as a result of U.N. comments that the country’s last missile launch was banned activity.

North Korea continually acts like a spoiled child that no one can seem to punish severely enough. This third test — as well as more plans for missile launches — is targeted toward the United States. North Korea’s new tests are punishment toward the United States for controlling the U.N. The U.N. expanded sanctions against North Korea after it launched a rocket in December, according to CNN.

According to, North Korea is calling this test a “New Phase” in its battle with the United States.

North Korea’s National Defense Commission stated, “The anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people.”

According to the U.S. Department of State, the United States has had relations with Korea since 1882 under a treaty of peace. In 1945 the U.S. divided Korea into North and South as a temporary measure, but it never was undivided because of communist control and the Cold War.

When North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, the United States intervened until the conflict ended in 1953. Though no American forces have been in North Korea since, there continues to be U.S. forces in South Korea. Up until the 1990s, the U.S. had missiles aimed at North Korea. Since then, the United States says, it has removed them. North Korea’s claim of battling the U.S. hasn’t exactly been going on from century to century continuously — more like three years of actual battle, but that’s close enough.

In 1994, North Korea and the U.S. came to an agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, something that has clearly been ignored by the North Koreans since.

However, it seems North Korea doesn’t even have the capability yet to reach the U.S. with any missile attack.

“Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words, as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival,” the North Korean defense commission said. Jungle law? I don’t recall missiles, rockets or nuclear arms being part of The Jungle Book or the Discovery Channel.

It’s hard to take threats from North Korea seriously, seeing as it’s difficult to know how far along they are with nuclear testing and missile capabilities. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (the ironic official name for North Korea) famously failed its last four missile attempts, with the one in December being its first success.

Those threats raise concern for Washington and our government to take action, whether that means conversing with other foreign diplomats on what the next step is or directly contacting North Korea ourselves. Or maybe this would all go away if we just sent Kim Jong Un some cake.

Jessica Ensley is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University and a columnist for The Post. Should the United States be tougher on North Korea? Email Jessica at


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