Kim Jong-un is one of the most conservative and isolated state leaders in the world. As the supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and presently 33-years-old, he has constantly been at loggerheads with western nations and South Korea due to his controversial nuclear weapons program.
That said, the United States, which has for years condemned Kim Jong-un's actions, has put numerous sanctions on the already impoverished state. In March this year, President Obama issued new sanctions against North Korea. In a letter to Congress, he expressed the following.
"I have now determined that the government of North Korea's continuing pursuit of its nuclear and missile programs... increasingly imperils the United States and its allies... The order is not targeted at the people of North Korea, but rather is aimed at the government of North Korea and its activities that threaten the United States and others."
This was following nuclear tests carried out by North Korea in January this year, with recent pictures showing Kim Jong Un standing in front of a miniaturized warhead.
In March, the U.S. and South Korea carried out joint military war games, portraying the might of their weaponry and armies, and, of course, North Korea responded with fierce rhetoric. It stated that it will react with overwhelming force if the U.S. and South Korea didn't desist. The following is a statement issued by the country's national news agency.
"This is the unprecedented and hideous provocation to the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK and an open declaration of a war against it... Fully charging miniaturized, precision and diversified nuclear warheads is by no means an empty talk."
However, the U.S. Defense Department recently stated that North Korea does not yet possess the nuclear capabilities it regularly boasts of and specifically does not have the necessary technology to launch a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can reach the United States. The following is part of the statement on this by the department.
"We have not seen North Korea demonstrate capability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon and put it on a ballistic missile," according to US News.
However, Kim Jong-un now boasts of another powerful weapon, capable of devastating the United States, and that is the hydrogen bomb. The following is an excerpt of the report on this by ITV News.
"North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has appeared to claim that his country has a hydrogen bomb, according to state media. If true, it would signify a major advance in the country's nuclear weapons capabilities.
"A hydrogen bomb - also known as a thermonuclear bomb - produces a much stronger blast than an atomic one. Experts are sceptical of the claim, which Kim reportedly made as he toured the Phyongchon Revolutionary Site. The Korea Central News Agency reported Kim saying that the work of Kim Il Sung "turned [North Korea] into a powerful nuclear weapons state ready to detonate a self-reliant [atomic] bomb and [hydrogen] bomb to reliably defend its sovereignty and the dignity of the nation."
Such activities and utterances have created major rifts between Kim Jong-un and heads of state that could potentially aid his endeavors. For example, in May of last year, he was invited to Moscow by President Vladmir Putin to events commemorating the end of the Second World war, but turned them down as Russia had in April refused to sell S-300 long-range missiles to North Korea.
In March this year, Putin warned Kim Jong-un against undertaking activities that would make his country a military action target.
[Photo by Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images]