Daily Video

April 1, 2013

North Korea Threatens Warfare

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Tensions rose in the Pacific last week, as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a plan to put strategic rockets on standby to be fired at the United States and its bases in the Pacific at any time.

Through North Korea’s erratic behavior, the U.S. has performed joint military exercises to show support for the country’s neighbors, including South Korea and Japan. Last Thursday, the U.S. made a forceful demonstration of its power by flying two B-2 stealth bombers to South Korea and back.

“The reaction to the B-2 that we’re most concerned about is not necessarily the reaction it might elicit in North Korea, but rather among our Japanese and Korean allies,” said General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Those exercises are mostly to assure our allies that they can count on us to be prepared to and to help them deter conflict.”

All of this started when North Korea conducted new nuclear tests in February, which in turn prompted the United Nations Security Council to impose new sanctions on the North.

It is unclear at the moment how serious or credible the threat is to the U.S.

Warm up questions

1. Where is North Korea? What do you know about it?

2. What do you know about the Korean War?

3. What are sanctions?

Discussion questions

1. How do you think the U.S. should respond to this threat? Why?

2. Do you think international sanctions can help diffuse the situation? Why or why not?

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