The division of Korea in 1945, the Korean War, which spanned from 1950 to 1953, and resulted in the separation of the Korean peninsula, are some of the events that have left deep wounds in the people of both nations and continue to influence relations with North Korea. Further straining the region are the United States' military presence in South Korea and North Korea's nuclear development program, which have brought it much attention in recent years.
Since 2003, both the U.S. and North Korea have participated in the Six-Party Talks meant to address the threat posed by a nuclear North Korea. In April 2009, North Korea quit the talks and announced that it would reverse the ongoing disablement process called for under the Six-Party agreements and restarts its Yongbyon nuclear facilities.
Given the history and legacies of the Korean War, decades of economic sanctions on the DPRK by the U.S., and current political tensions on the Korean peninsula that have been exacerbated by both increased U.S. military presence on the border and the DPRK's emerging nuclear program, it is vital for Americans to travel to this country to in order to help establish people-to-people ties.