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North Korea

Yearbook 2016

North Korea. According to countryaah, the current population of North Korea is 25,778,827. Tensions on the Korean Peninsula increased further during the year, which North Korea began by testing nuclear weapons. The first nuclear test was conducted in January. State TV announced on January 6 that a fusion weapon, a hydrogen bomb, had exploded. However, according to foreign analysts, it was probably a fission weapon, as in North Korea's three previous test blasts.

2016 North Korea

A month later, the North Koreans fired a long-range rocket, for the first time since 2012. According to Pyongyang, the aim was to place a satellite in orbit around the earth, but critics suspected it was a test for the development of long-range weapons that can be loaded with nuclear weapons.

The rocket blast prompted South Korea to temporarily halt operations in the Kaesong Joint Industrial Zone. The following day, North Korea expelled all 280 South Koreans who were in Kaesong, stating that South Korean assets would be frozen. South Korea responded by turning off electricity and water for the industrial plant. The closure resulted in more than 50,000 North Koreans being unemployed and discontinuing operations for over 120 South Korean companies.

Although both test blasts were in violation of UN sanctions on North Korea, China initially resisted demands from primarily the United States on new measures. But in March, the UN Security Council decided on a fifth sanction package since the first crackdown in 2006. Among other things, the opportunities to export mainly coal and iron were limited.

North Korea Population

In May, the Communist Party held its seventh congress, the first since 1980. Thousands of delegates participated in what was described as an unofficial coronation by leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea continued to test robots, firing a total of over 20 during the year. One crashed into the ocean off Japan 100 miles away, the longest distance traveled by a North Korean missile to date. Another was successfully fired from a submarine.

Several sanctions also followed, both from the EU and from the US, which directed criminal action against Kim Jong Un directly.

In September came the fifth explosion of a nuclear weapon, which was judged to be significantly more powerful than the previous ones. North Korea's regime also claimed that it now had the capacity to mount nuclear warheads on ballistic robots.

After lengthy negotiations, the US and China then agreed on yet another package of tightened UN sanctions, which are expected to reduce North Korea's export revenue by more than a quarter.

Severe floods hit the country in the fall and over 100,000 people became homeless. Aid organizations warned of a humanitarian disaster because the cold was on the way shortly afterwards.

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