North Korea has been condemned and sanctioned for its nuclear ambitions, yet has still received food, fuel and other aid from its neighbors and adversaries for decades. How does the small, isolated country keep getting what it wants and needs?
Some put its success down to the extraordinary nuclear blackmail skills of a country whose leaders could be buying food instead of bombs and missiles. Some see the willingness of outsiders to help people in desperate need, regardless of how odious the government that rules them is, and others credit the feeling in South Korea that aid could improve ties.
North Korea has had gradual economic growth in recent years and doesn’t appeal for foreign humanitarian assistance as much as it did in the past. Despite multiple rounds of U.N. sanctions, its leader, Kim Jong Un, has defiantly pushed his scientists to develop nuclear-tipped missiles capable of reaching the U.S. heartland. It test-launched two intercontinental ballistic missile in the past month, and once Kim perfects such weapons, he may to try to extract bigger concessions from Washington.
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