Today, Verum was helping Felix in his garden. The tomato plants were heavy with bright red tomatoes. The two friends were plucking them to make soup later today.

Suddenly, Verum stood up straight. She said, “Did you hear that, Felix? It seems like my crystal ball is spinning and humming.”

“Go, hurry! Check out the news!” said Felix, following her into the dorm room.

“Oh, the news is from North Korea, a country in Southeast Asia,” said Verum, “Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s Supreme Leader, has complete control over the country. That’s why news usually doesn’t travel out of North Korea.”

“Then how does the world know this news story?” said Felix.

“That’s because North Korea wants everyone to know,” said Verum, “On Monday, the country announced that it had tested a new cruise missile that can travel a really long distance. According to North Korea’s official news agency, this missile can travel 1,500 kilometers which means it can reach Japan!”

“Whoa,” said Felix, “I don’t think Japan will be too comfortable with that.”

“You’re right, Felix,” said Verum, “Japan colonized undivided Korea from 1905 to 1945. That’s why there is tension between North Korea and Japan. In 1945, Korea was divided into North and South Korea. Since then, there has been tension between these countries too.”

“How are Japan and South Korea reacting to this missile test?” said Felix.

“Well, Japan has significant concerns about the test. As they should, because the missile could carry a nuclear weapon. South Korea’s military is doing an in-depth study of the test,” said Verum, “Japan, South Korea, and their ally the United States are closely looking at the situation.”

“But there is another side to this story,” added Verum, “Since the pandemic began, North Korea has strictly closed its borders. Its trade with neighbor China has almost completely stopped. So, an economic crisis is going on in the country. It is also facing a shortage of food.”

“Didn’t North Korea experience a similar food shortage in the 1990s?” said Felix.

“Yes,” answered Verum, “Even so, it’s spending a lot of money on building weapons and missiles. A few days after this test, South Korea’s military confirmed that its neighbor tested two more missiles.”