North Korea’s Growing Nuclear Threat
Will Donald Trump be the fourth consecutive US president to fail in preventing North Korea from expanding its nuclear capability?
When North Korea launched its latest missile on July 4, it was yet another auspiciously timed message for the world that the country is armed and dangerous. Calling it a gift to “American bastards,” Kim Jong-un’s regime has finally been able to test its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), potentially capable of reaching Alaska.
HWASONG-14 is the newest addition to the country’s arsenal that finally makes the delivery of a nuclear bomb, which North Korea successfully tested in 2006, to a target up to 15,000 kilometers away a possibility. While this latest development puts America within firing range, Pentagon analysts say there is no evidence North Korea has the capability to fit a nuclear device on the ICBM and have it reliably detonate.
Having been given access to nuclear technology by the USSR in the 1950s, the Hermit Kingdom started using its nuclear reactors to produce weapons after the fall of the Soviet Union left it exposed. Having been branded as part of the Axis of Evil by George W. Bush, North Korean leadership watched Iraq succumb to regime change, with its weapons programs used as justification, and Libya suffering a similar fate despite giving up its nuclear ambitions. Developing its own nuclear arsenal as a defense shield became a national obsession for North Korea.
Its current nuclear capability is enough to threaten its regional enemies, South Korea and Japan, as well as the US troops stationed there. The latest missile test brings North Korea closer to changing its nuclear status and tipping the delicate balance of power currently in place. Despite strong language from the White House that America will “never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea,” will Donald Trump be the fourth consecutive US president to fail in preventing Pyongyang from expanding its nuclear capability?
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.