‘Maniacal recklessness’

Daily News Article - September 12, 2016


NOTE to students: Before answering the questions, read the “Background” below.

1. The first paragraph of a news article should answer the questions who, what, where and when. List the who, what, where and when of this news item. (NOTE: The remainder of a news article provides details on the why and/or how.)

2. The name of the capital city of a country is used to refer to that country’s government: “Washington” refers to the Obama administration; “Moscow” for Vladimir Putin’s government; “Beijing” for the Chinese government. How do the reporters refer to the North Korean government?

3. a) How did the U.S. and South Korea, named by Kim Jong Un as North Korea’s main enemies, respond to the test?
b) What response did other leaders and groups have to North Korea’s test?

4. What did North Korea say about the test?

5. a) What words do the reporters use to describe the test in relation to President Obama and for the new president as well?
b) Do you think these words are an apt description should North Korea’s ambitions prove successful? Explain your answer.


a) In February, CNN reported: “According to multiple experts, North Korea has at least a dozen and perhaps as many as 100 nuclear weapons, though at present it lacks sophisticated delivery mechanisms.” In this Reuters article, the reporters characterize the U.S., South Korea, Japan, the UN… as “powerless to contain” North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. They quote a Japanese professor as saying the sanctions aimed to put pressure on North Korea “have reached their limits.” Ask a parent if he/she thinks we are powerless to contain North Korea’s nuke program, or if anything can be done to stop North Korea.

b) In 1994, then President Bill Clinton made a nuclear deal with North Korea. (Watch the video under “Resources” below.) President Clinton said it was a good deal that would prevent North Korea from obtaining nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, it did not work out as hoped. (Read President Clinton’s remarks here.)
Do you think President Obama’s 2015 deal with Iran in which he dropped sanctions against the country and sent the government $400 million in cash on an unmarked plane (that the U.S. owed it from the 1970s) will be more successful in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons? Explain your answer.