North Korea is determined to enter 2018 with the tensions surrounding the Korean peninsula. It has renewed its threats and has indicated that it is not willing to budge from its stand unless the United States and its allies stop their military exercises. It considers these as blackmail tactics and will continue with its nuclear weapon programs and missile tests.

The New Zealand Herald reports that the hermit kingdom has conducted a number of missile tests in the past and had even sent ICBMs that had the potential to strike targets in America. The US and South Korea have taken a firm stand on the issue, and insist that North Korea must put on hold its nuclear ambitions for any negotiation to start.

Pyongyang is a global threat

The activities of North Korea are not conducive to global peace. Its nuclear weapon programs have sent out alarm signals all over the world because the slightest miscalculation could trigger a major clash. It objects to the military drills conducted by the United States and its allies in the Korean peninsula and insists that its missile programs are meant to defend itself from aggression.

In view of the adamant attitude of the regime and its nuclear programs, the UN has slapped trade sanctions on North Korea with the intention of blocking access to finances. However, Pyongyang has devised alternate strategies to bypass the blockade.

The latest revelation is the ship-to-ship transfer of goods, which is a breach of the sanctions.

An oil tanker of a ship registered in Hong Kong has been identified and detained in South Korea. The ship was caught as it was transferring oil to a vessel belonging to North Korea. Most of the crew members are citizens of China.

Sanctions are hurting

In order to check the nuclear weapon programs of North Korea, the UN has slammed three sets of sanctions on it during 2017.

These have targeted various areas, like iron, coal, and fishing industries. The sanctions have also imposed limitations on the supply of textiles and oil apart from refined petroleum products. However, the country feels it has reached a stage where it can dictate terms to others – this is a dangerous situation.

The United States has its warships in the region, South Korea is equipped with the THAAD missile defense system, and Hawaii has tested its sirens.

Moreover, cities on the China-North Korea border areas have been informed about the actions they must take to save themselves from nuclear radiation, but a direct confrontation must be avoided. The world leaders must evolve a joint strategy to prevent another Hiroshima.