North Korea's pervasive news presence has revealed how little most Americans really know about North Korea and how it became the globe-threatening regime it is today. How did North Korea get nuclear weapons, and why did North Korea develop nuclear weapons in the first place? The answers to those questions might surprise you. North Korea's nuclear weapon history is tied up in foreign policy and, ultimately, trying to form an alliance with the United States.
The US has had a vested interest in Korea dating back to the division of the peninsula following World War II. The US relationship with the North has always depended greatly on the leaders of that state - who all come from the same family and rival each other in their outlandish characteristics and unpredictable temperaments. But when it comes to weapons, blatant nuclear threats are a relatively recent development. North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) are weapons not usually used in warfare (yet), and they actually exist thanks to numerous failed attempts to gain American approval.