Not that many people consider why the North Korean nuclear crisis happened, but they do know that it is dangerous. North Korea is a "rogue state," so they are not to be trusted with a nuclear arsenal. Therefore, the international community inflicts North Korea with sanctions. Regardless, North Korea still continues missile testing. America, who leads the international community, wants North Korea to denuclearize. North Korea, however, refuses and wants to be acknowledged as a nuclear state.They want nuclear weapons because they witnessed American aggression during the Korean War. During the Korean War, North Korea lost much of their population due to bombing campaigns. As a result, North Korea obtained a nuclear arsenal as an equalizer to American aggression which still persists today. North Korea started the nuclear crisis because America killed so much of their population and bombed the entire country during the Korean War.
America killed so much of the population that caused bitter remembrance today. According to Mehdi Hassan from the Intercept, America exterminated 20% of North Korea's population which is the equivalent of the Nazis exterminating 20% of Poland's pre-World War II population. That is technically over 2-3 million citizens dead. So, a lot of people have died. By that logic, a North Korean has certainly known a family member who perished during the Korean War. Therefore, North Koreans remember the Korean War with bitterness and sorrow. Many North Koreans feel justified in feeling bitterness and sorrow considering how many notable people were surprised over the destruction of North Korea itself. For example, Supreme Court Justice Douglas went to the Korean Peninsula and was compelled to say: “I had seen the war-battered cities of Europe, but I had not seen devastation until I had seen Korea.” It says something that somebody who had seen World War II have expressed shock over what happened to North Korea which means the destruction was so bad that North Koreans consider it almost insulting that Americans do not remember it.
America bombed North Korea which is considered to be logistically useful, but can cause psychological consequences. More than 650,000 bombs were dropped in North Korea. That is more than the entire Pacific theater. Special Operations officer Donald Nichols noted that the Far East Air Forces had more bombers and more conventional bombs than the entire North Korean army itself (America was outnumbered during the early days of the Korean War). Henceforth, America planned bombing campaigns for a victory. However, it is a problem because what is considered logistically helpful might be psychologically harmful to the population who bear the brunt of the bombings. As you can see, the North Koreans never clearly forget and they used the bombings as justification of why America is the aggressor. The notion of the aggressive Americans creates the fear of another war. North Korean officials use the fear as a justification for securing a nuclear arsenal. That way, if America acted aggressively towards them ever again, they would have an equalizer in the form of nuclear weapons.
North Korea became a nuclear state for the following reasons. Much of their population died in massive numbers to the point that every North Korean knows a loved one who died. Therefore, North Koreans experience a certain kind of vengeance because their “enemy” doesn’t remember killing and destroying their country. American military officials considered North Korea to be "disposable enough" to justify bombing missions. Henceforth, North Koreans believe that Americans are aggressive. By that logic, they need something to equalize American aggression. So, they chose nuclear weapons because nuclear weapons can inflict just as much death and destruction to America that is similar to the bombing campaigns during the Korean War. Overall, North Korea became a nuclear state because they want to prevent America killing much of their population and make them subjects of bombing campaigns ever again.