AC360 411: North Korea missile crisis
April 11th, 2013
02:12 PM ET

AC360 411: North Korea missile crisis

Editor’s Note: Anderson Cooper will report the latest developments on North Korea's threats and the United States' response tonight on AC360° at 8 and 10 p.m. ET. He'll be joined by former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman and CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

With North Korea expected to soon test more missiles, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Wednesday the hermit nation is "skating very close to a dangerous line." Intelligence suggests North Korea could be planning “multiple missile launches” in the coming days, according to Pentagon officials. Here’s the AC360° 411 on North Korea:


  • North Korea has the fifth-largest military force with 1.2 million soldiers, sailors and airmen.
  • South Korea's military, by contrast, is nearly 700,000 strong.
  • Land Area: 120,538 sq. km, slightly smaller than Mississippi
  • Population: 24,720,407 (July 2013 est.)
  • Median age: 33 
  • Capital: Pyongyang
  • The U.S. has no diplomatic representation in North Korea. The Swedish Embassy represents the U.S. as consular protecting power.
  • 1945: Korean Peninsula divided at the 38th parallel into two occupation zones, with the United States in the South and the Soviet Union in the North.
  • 1948: Two separate nations were established - the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the South, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the North.
  • June 25, 1950: North Korean forces invaded South Korea.
  • July 27, 1953: Ceasefire signed, but no peace deal reached; two countries still separated by a demilitarized zone.
  • 2003: The U.S. proposed multilateral talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. Several rounds of Six-Party Talks have been held since then.
  • December 17, 2011: North Korean leader Kim Jong Il dies at the age of 69.
  • December 31, 2011: Kim Jong Un assumes command of the North Korean army.
  • April 13, 2012: North Korea's long-range rocket launch is a failure.
  • December 12, 2012: North Korea successfully launches a long-range rocket.
  • January 22, 2012: The U.N. condemns the recent North Korean rocket launch and expands existing sanctions against North Korea.
  • January 24, 2013 – North Korea's National Defense Commission says it will continue nuclear testing and long-range rocket launches, all of which are a part of an "upcoming all-out action" aimed at the United States, "the sworn enemy of the Korean people."
  • March 5, 2013: North Korea threatens to nullify the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War in 1953, citing U.S.-led international moves to impose new sanctions against it over its recent nuclear test.
  • March 11, 2013: A spokesman for the North Korean military announces that the 1953 armistice is being "scrapped."
  • March 27, 2013: North Korea cuts military hotline with South Korea. Earlier in the month a Red Cross hotline through Panmunjom is cut.
  • April 3, 2013: North Korea pledges to restart its Yongbyon nuclear complex.
  • April 10, 2013: U.S. official says North Korea missile test could be “imminent”
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Filed under: AC360° 411 • North Korea • Nuclear Weapons
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Satyajit Dutt

    It is surprising to me that no one is talking about or exploring the Pakistan's assistance to the North Korea Nuclear Bomb development. It has been common knowledge for many years that North Korea gave missiles and missile tech to Pakistan and Pakistan has reciprocated by Nuclear technology. US has in fact turned a blind eye to all this for many years.

    April 11, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
  2. Charles (CDN)

    I find myself concerned when declassified but should be classified documents find there way into being disclosed. North Korea's now disclosed capabilities for a nuclear warhead, reminds me of the WMD that was disclosed to begin the Iraq war. I am greatly concern about the findings of any intelligence agencies findings when they are not corroborated by other intelligence agencies.

    April 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm |