I heard the US donates aid to North Korea. It is also my understanding that the US is still technically at war with North Korea but the situation is a stalemate and no side is actively attacking.

Are both of these statements true?

  • 1
    These are actually three separate questions: 1. "Is the US paying development aid to North Korea?" 2. "Are the United States and North Korea still at war?" 3. "Is North Korea a relic of the cold war?". Question 1 and 2 should be asked as separate questions. Question 3 is either opinion-based or needs a better definition of what exactly you mean with "relic of the cold war".
    – Philipp
    Mar 14, 2016 at 9:59
  • @Philipp that's a legitimate point, the reason I did this is because question #2 may not exist without question #1. I'll reword to make that a bit more clear.
    – Celeritas
    Mar 14, 2016 at 10:29
  • @Philipp to be 100% honest with you, I don't think "is North Korea a relic of the cold war" stands much of a chance by itself because I think it would be down voted and closed. But there was a time when the stackexchange site allowed for more opinion based questions and I don't think it's a bad question.
    – Celeritas
    Mar 14, 2016 at 10:32
  • As far as I understand, technically USA never was at war with North Korea. Thus it can't be "still at war".
    – Matt
    Mar 14, 2016 at 10:59
  • 3
    Since being at war with a country and contributing aid to that country at the same time creates it's own interesting dynamic, I think it's fine for both questions to coexist in the same question. Mar 14, 2016 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


Technically the US congress never declared war on North Korea, but rather led a UN peacekeeping effort in the region that was never resolved with a signed treaty. So the War, as it exists, is between North and South Korea and remains unresolved.

So - legally, no in the absence of hostilities and without a formal declaration, the US is not actually at War with North Korea, but there is no formal peace either, nor did North Korea ever meet any requirements put upon it by the UN Security Council. That in itself however, is again not a foundation on its own for a state of war. Lots of countries remain non-compliant.

As for Aid, the US has provided humanitarian aid in times of famine, or helped aid agencies in times of disease outbreak. It's a tough call - do you help someone who is a threat? Or let it implode and hope that you don't get hurt in the implosion? As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures - so maybe relieving desperation is, in fact, the better option on as limited a basis as possible.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .