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North Korea Attacks and Relations with South Korea, America and China

Updated on January 10, 2015

North Korean People Fight Starvation

Some starving people survive in North Korea by harvesting ginseng and selling it in Northern China.
Some starving people survive in North Korea by harvesting ginseng and selling it in Northern China. | Source

North Korean Attacks and Atrocities

"Is North Korea bluffing about nuking us?" (If USA proceeds with war games near North and South Korea.) --This question was asked in August 2010 and on November 23, 2010, North Korea kept its promise to attack South Korea in the event that their southern neighbor continued to hold military drills in North Korean territory despite NK ultimatums not to do so.

These and similar events crate an omen of the NK leadership's intentions toward other nations whose leadership refuse NK orders. It is an omen echoed by my students and colleagues that have served on the south side of the North-South border in the US military. Furthermore, it is echoed by missionaries that risked their lives to begin church groups in the back of bakeries in North Korea. One missionary family, the Covingtons, lost their dad and husband Daryl in 2013 as a result of likely assassination by NK soldiers.

The NK leadership is capable of anything aggressively territorial and retaliative. For additional long term evidence, read the historical fiction work of NK refugees fleeing to Northern China in The Ginseng Hunter.

Dear Leader, Dear Dear Leader

Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee--A Look Inside North Korea
Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee--A Look Inside North Korea
This is necessary reading for anyone unfamiliar with the actual day to day torture that is life in North Korea. An associate of mine was murdered there for spreading the Gospel of Jesus. The people have little food unless they join the Military Services. Many atrocities and this book describes them.

North Korean Missile Attacks and Arrests

  • United States Calls on North Korea to Free Captive American - May 2, 2013: The Obama Administration asked for the release of the American, Kenneth Bae, who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for "hostile acts." Bae was sentenced on the day that the annual South Korean-USA military drills ended. North Korea had "forbidden" the drills to occur. The arrest was a retaliation for the yearly drills being completed.
  • US demands end of Iranian, North Korean attempts to gain nuclear devices - May 3, 2013: Reuters - The United States said that Iran and North Korea were trying to obtain high-tech materials linked to their nuclear programs in violation of UN sanctions already in place.
  • South Korea Says North Launches 3 Missiles Into Sea - - MAY 18, 2013: The South Korean Defense Ministry reported that NK missiles were fired on 5/18/13 off North Korea’s east coast.
  • North Korea possesses "Musudan" medium-range missiles with a range of 2,500 to 4,000 kilometers or 1,500 to 2,500 miles. These missiles can reach South Korea, Japan and possibly US personnel on Guam.
  • US Citizen detained in North Korea was on vacation tour, lawyer says. - Crime? --The tourist left a Bible in his hotel room when he left. "American citizen Jeffrey Edward Fowle entered the DPRK as a tourist on April 29, 2014 and acted in violation of the DPRK law, contrary to the purpose of tourism during his stay. A relevant organ of the DPRK detained him and is investigating him," its official KCNA news agency said. Fowle is from Miamisburg, Ohio, and worked in the Moraine city street department, local media reports said."

Ongoing Attacks and Threats

  • Pentagon Warns North Korea Could Become a Hacker Haven

    May 3, 2013: Even though North Korea has scant Internet connectivity, the communist government tries repeatedly to hack networks of "hostiles" that include American facilities like the Pentagon. At the same time, South Korean workers pulled out of a North Korean factory, ending years of attempted cooperation between the Two Koreas.

Around Thanksgiving week 2014, unknowns - likely North Korean agents - hacked into Sony Pictures' computer server and published damaging email messages around the world. This was in protest of the Seth Rogen - James Franco political comedy "The Interview", in which the NK dictator's was made to look foolish and his head was blown up. The film was pulled from theaters because of NK threats, but released at Christmas in limited theaters and online. Leaders in NK were angry.

Reference Map: May 18, 2013

Sea of Japan:
Sea of Japan (also known as the East Sea)

get directions

Confirmed landing site of the three KN-02 surface-to-surface missiles created via Soviet era SS-21 missles.

Chongin, North Korea:
Chongjin, North Hamgyong, North Korea

get directions

Chongin is on the North Coast of NK, but from which exact cities the missles were launched, we do not know.


get directions

Guam and US military forces are to the south in the Pacific Ocean.

North Korean Human Rights Violations

Human rights violations are rampant in North Korea. This novel relies on personal experiences.
Human rights violations are rampant in North Korea. This novel relies on personal experiences. | Source

Human Rights Violations

A nation such as North Korea, whose government requires its citizens to eat only once per day or face physical abuse (unless in the military), imprisonment, even execution, could sanction nuclear attack against the USA.

NK attack potential is especially true in the case of this government whose top leader is traditionally thought to, and indeed believes that, he became God when he rose to the leadership position and that any succeeding son will do the same upon accepting his reign in future. This is likely one of the most dangerous iterations of government that can exist.

The AP reported that 15 South Korean soldiers and 3 civilians suffered injuries, 2 SK military persons were killed, and that the extent of casualties in NK is unknown.

The island of Yeonpyeong, South Korea is just south of the North-South political boundary between the two Korean countries. It was attacked my NK military shelling. The island is home to a SK military base with buildings, equipment, and vehicles, as well as a group of ~ 1700 civilians, and a thriving crabbing industry. NK headquarters ordered SK military people to cease and desist any military maneuvers in an area NK claimed exclusively for itself, but which are disputed by the SK government. SK military personnel fired weapons in the disputed area but away from North Korea. KN shelled the island for about one hour, with the SK military returning fire.


From 2010 - 2013, North Korea made a nummber of threats of nuclear attack and even aircraft and ground invasions against South Korea and North America - specifically the USA.

Ode to Yeonpyeong-do

The Two Koreas

Seoul South Korea:
Seoul, South Korea

get directions

Yeonpyeong South Korea:
Yeonpyeong-myeon, Ongjin-gun, Incheon, South Korea

get directions

Pyongyang North Korea:
Pyongyang, North Korea

get directions

NPR Historical Outlook; 60 Years, 60 Fires

On November 27, 2010, NPR called the 3-mile-long Yeonpyeong island "charred and desolate", with photographic images of localized housing damage to match their description. The town hall and only healthcare center were severely damaged, the military base taking large damage as well.

Aside from the military installation just about 7 miles from North Korean territory, Yeonpyeong is historically a small fishing village know for high quality crab capture, civilian population estimates to be between 1,200 and 1,700 in 2010. Residents fled the island community by ferry over the course of two days to take up residence in a bath house in Incheon, South Korea.

Apparently, the conflict and irregularly occurring military attacks at Yeonpyeong Island have endured for 60 years, North Korea insisting that it owns the waters surrounding the island. In an eerie event, news media state that 60 buildings went aflame during the latest attack in November 2010 - one for each year of the conflict.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-Young resigned after the 2010 attack. The Yellow Sea where the charred island floats remained a point of contention for North and South Korea and China.

Chinese Interest in North Korea as Ally

China has a peace plan for North and South Korea. In includes building a new roadway and rail line from North Korean to the Chinese marketplace. Chinese commercial interests will use a seaport on the coast of North Korean and link that port to the Trans-Siberian railway system. China fears that a collapse of the NK government could result in a larger number of refugees fleeing into Dandong and other Northern Chinese towns. They may fear that the 1,000s of American soldiers in South Korea would follow refugees up into China.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Border between North Korea and China.Friendship Bridge between North Korea and Dandong, China.
Border between North Korea and China.
Border between North Korea and China. | Source
Friendship Bridge between North Korea and Dandong, China.
Friendship Bridge between North Korea and Dandong, China. | Source

The Divine Mountain of Korean Origin Myths

Baekdu Mountain:
Mount Baekdu, 134504

get directions

Heaven Lake Atop Mount Baekdu, a Volcano


Selling Arms

At the same time, a controversy boils over concerning US President Barack Obama's sales of war planes to Saudi Arabia in November 2010. Arming the rest of the world is perhaps not our best move. Surely, these fighter jets and other materials could better serve our own needs, in non-warfare capacities.

Help from South Africa

The US military supports some 28,000 personnel in South Korea. Interestingly, on 11/23/2010, South Africa was reinstated as a Member of the United Nations Command, the group that maintains the Armistice between the two Koreas.

South Africa suddenly has greater access to data about security issues with North Korea, including its claims of a new uranium enrichment facility. We look forward to related developments in future.

The UNC now has 16 nation members, led by USFK commander General Walter Sharp. They maintain the armistice from the Korean War ending in 1953, but no peace treaty was ever signed.

Endangered: Beautiful Cheju Island, South Korea

Cheju Island, South Korea, a vacationers' and honeymooners' paradise. We do not want it destroyed.
Cheju Island, South Korea, a vacationers' and honeymooners' paradise. We do not want it destroyed. | Source

Endangered Cities: Cheju Island and much of Japan

Cheju Island:
Jeju-do, South Korea

get directions

Chongin, North Korea:
Chongjin, North Hamgyong, North Korea

get directions

Missiles can easily reach the much loved Cheju Island and its sculpture gardens, botanical gardens, and other attractions and traditional installation


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    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      I just wish there was no war at all, ever. For those who pray, fervently, keep praying. Voted and rated.

    • daydreamer13 profile image


      10 years ago

      Interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing what you know!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation


      The New York Times:

      North Korean Nuclear Ability Seen to Far Outpace Iran's

      -- NK technology far advanced over Iran's, according to President Obama.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      (AP) December 7, 2010 "South Korea's president promised Tuesday to transform five islands that lie along the tense maritime border with North Korea into "military fortresses" impervious to the kind of deadly attack the rival neighbor launched last month.

      As the government in Seoul struggles to counter the widespread impression its response was too weak and too slow, the new defense minister also ordered his top commanders to retaliate with force if attacked."

    • TheMMAZone profile image


      10 years ago from Kansas

      scary situation thanks for clearing this up!

    • burning bush profile image

      burning bush 

      10 years ago

      As long as the world stands apart, countries and dictatorships like NK will continue unabated. Good hub for discussion.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Not to mention all of the other, "re-education" camps that detain people for several months at a time and release them, starving and destitute.

    • scottwkelley profile image


      10 years ago from Petoskey, Michigan

      With leaders changing in NK and not knowing much about the son, which I find hard to believe. But after following this on Washington Journal the US has been leery of NK for sometime now. Did you know that NK has over 22 concentration camps where you check in but you don't check out from? This is a very heated area and has been for sometime and with a power struggle with-in NK it is even hotter.

    • jaymelee23 profile image


      10 years ago from United States

      Excellent information.

    • indigo blue ideas profile image

      indigo blue ideas 

      10 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for sharing. I think the Korean conflict will last as long as there are successors to lead North Korea.

    • crymn profile image


      10 years ago

      I've read somewhere that China would stopped sending supplies to North Korea for the nuclear standoff with the United States. China wanted to send a message to North Korea to "Get Straight!"

    • Shil1978 profile image


      10 years ago

      Thank you Patty for this nice and informative read. I do hope both the Koreas unite one day, as Germany did. Sounds pretty far fetched now, but it is a hopeful sign that some in the Chinese regime are at least open to it - if you go by what the Wikileaks cables had to say on the matter. With the amount of distrust, chances are slim, but a change in official Chinese position may make a huge difference, knowing the fact that the Chinese supply much of the energy and other needs of NK.

    • Roffi Grandiosa profile image

      Roffi Grandiosa 

      10 years ago from Bandung, Indonesia

      interesting hub!

    • TurtleDog profile image


      10 years ago

      Patti - well done and a terrific article. The comments on NK and your Hub give me eerie reminders of George Orwell's 1984. Starving of the people, the bombing, the twisted use of language.... etc Very harsh stuff. Thanks again for the great post. Voted UP as usual. We'll done.

    • Albertttt profile image


      10 years ago

      Interesting stuff.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Yes, that's very harsh. Thanks for posting!

    • earnestshub profile image


      10 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thanks Patty, I appreciate the informed view. At least I now feel I have some understanding of the situation.

      I reckon the one meal a day policy says it all myself!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      NK is not happy with the Korean War armistice and feels that all the waters surrounding the island and the island itself belong to NK. In my 30 years' experience with Korean culture, the tradition of 'one warning, then strike if unheeded' is standard. The actual tradition for the martial arts portion of the concept is 'warn twice and retaliate on the third infraction.' NK is not that patient; plus, in transition of leadership from Father to Son in NK, this is a show of continuing power. They are broadcasting 'no change."

    • abidan profile image


      10 years ago

      i heard that south also fired back at north ..

      any specific reason why north attack south??

    • coolbreeze profile image

      Rik Rodriguez 

      10 years ago from Hawaii

      That doesn't surprise me Patty

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I read today in our local weekly newspaper that Jon Stewart described the situatin of USA and China using SK and NK to play Rockem' Sockem' Robots...

    • Kevin Fenning profile image

      Kevin Fenning 

      10 years ago from Philadelphia PA

      Excellent work Ms. English! Well done!

    • suejanet profile image


      10 years ago

      The world always have psychos. The problem is we cannot always be the ones to stop them.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I agree that NK could affect a larger number of countries than believe they are vulnerable. The furor with Wikileaks adds to the problem.

    • lender3212000 profile image


      10 years ago from Beverly Hills, CA

      It would be nice if the rest of the world would help present a unified front once in a while. Everyone always wants to sit back and let situations like this be the problem of the U.S. when in reality, this could quickly grow into a serious problem for many more countries in the region.

    • Lauretta123 profile image


      10 years ago from Ukr

      nice info. thanks a lot

    • lamiya profile image


      10 years ago

      very informative ,war is the other name of blood.hate war

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      It is potentially very frightening, kephira. In my view, The NK leaders have taken the most high-handed and entitled sort of worldview in the use of the Korean language, their cultural development, and international relations in general.

      One example is that Indigenous Peoples most places refer to themselves as The People or similar, and the word for themselve in Korean, especially oldest Korean language/dialect, seems to have a flavor of "the one and only people." Taken to the extreme, what is everyone else? - not much.

      Thanks for posting your comment!

    • kephrira profile image


      10 years ago from Birmingham

      I didn't realize that the NK leader thought he was a God. That's some scary stuff.

    • yenajeon profile image

      Yena Williams 

      10 years ago from California

      It's difficult to wage a "smart war" or a coup with a country that is run by someone who doesn't care. In a situation where the leader would prefer to damage another country rather than preserve it's own, it's difficult to know how to fight that.

      It'll be interesting to see how events unfold in the next few months.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      All I can add to what had already be written - poor people. I wish that government would be sitting there and hear the rockets whistling, not knowing where it is going to hit. They would never sunction another attack. Thank you for a well written, informative hub.

    • Tara_in_NE profile image


      10 years ago

      This will only escalate. The whole Korean Peninsula is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. We ALL know China has been feeding North Korea with weaponry and has been for decades. If the U.S. gets involved any further, I can't see the whole fiasco ending ending in ANY way but badly.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Additional SK/USA military drills scheduled for Sunday Nov. 28.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      NK fired additional "warning shots" today 11/26/10, just like the military on either side of the DMZ fence showing off martial arts. NK will not stop with show-off stunts, imo.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Of course you know it is the fault of the United States that all this happened. It is my understanding that the Island belongs to SK and military exercises have been going on there for quite some time.

      Terrorism is not the way to rule over people. The NK leader is a terrorist and should be dealt with as such. Of course, this is only my opinion.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      All good points above and I appreciate all your important experiences and insights.

      Did South Korea provoke attack? I'm not sold on that, but it's a possibility. SK claims to have been pointing artillery away from NK, but the island is on the disputed border and not far from Pyongyang. The NK and SK military groups on either side of the border (including Americans, some of them my colleagues) farther inland have had a tendency in the past to show off martial arts skills by the fence in attempts to intimidate the other side. In that light, I'm not surprised if SK was doing the same thing with their drills on the island, but I don't know.

      imo, a treaty needs to be negotiated, but Kim Jong Il may never accept it and it may be too late.

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 

      10 years ago from America

      The strange part is it seems now that South Korea started this little escapade, But your point about North being on the verge is correct! Seems our weak and wobble kneed president wont do much about it!..........OH how I long for the Reagan days!

    • tony0724 profile image


      10 years ago from san diego calif

      Patty this is indeed a troublesome situation on the world stage. All of us know that Kim Jong and his son are both bonafide psychos. And they are also doing China's dirty work for them. Have you noticed China's strange silence on this matter? And Iran is watching because they want to see how Obama reacts to this situation. These crazy Despots look at him as weak and feel brave enough to start throwing around their weight a little.

    • Unchained Grace profile image

      Unchained Grace 

      10 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Clearly, NK is led by one fitting the psychological profile of one with a God complex coupled with a desperate need to back it all up with fear and tyranny.

      Noriega, had he the nuclear capability, could've gone the same way towards the end. Political rantings aside, we propped him up and substantiated the heroin trade via our training of his soldiers at the School of the Americas when it was located in Panama. Operation Just Cause was the response from the US when he became a substantial embarassment. So, we as a nation were fortunate Noriega did not have the access and ability to do what NK has already proven it can and will do.

      My father served in WWII, Korae and was an advisor during the initial phases in Nam. My own military career began in Nam (17OCT1971) and spanned throughout South Central America and the Middle East. Together, we've seen the end reults. The horrors and the civilian executions. While alleged self appointed experts pass judgement and opinions from the safety of their computers and cozy offices, we've seen the results.

      What this will require for a neutralization of said threat will have to come as a result of combined efforts from CIA, Mossad and othe agencies such as GSG9 from Germany as well as MI6 from the UK. It shall require a Henry Kissinger approach.

      Look around you. We currently have no real seasoned diplomats available in this administration. So, what's the real solution here?

    • lindacee profile image

      Linda Chechar 

      10 years ago from Arizona

      North Korea is a loose cannon and in my mind a much bigger threat right now to the US than Iran, et al. It will be interesting to see what our 'measured unified response' will be. Very informative article.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      10 years ago from malang-indonesia

      This is new for me. Thanks for showing me this news. I pray the best to this world. God....Stop the war, no blood anymore...amen.



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