National Security

BREAKING: North Korea Can Now Launch Nuclear Warhead Capable of Hitting U.S.

“If Kim Jong-Un believes that he’ll be removed by a foreign power, he’d probably decide that the ship should go down with its captain.”

I’m not a military expert. And while I’m not a dove, I’m not exactly a hawk either. But the growing nuclear threat in North Korea is an issue that should worry us all. In recent months, North Korea has made dramatic advancements in its Inter-Continental-Ballistic-Missile technologies (ICBMs), and experts now believe that the country has the capability to hit the United States. Worse yet, intelligence sources are warning that the rogue nation now has the capability to mount nuclear warheads on its ICBMs.

A confidential intelligence report indicates that North Korea has figured out how to miniaturize nuclear warheads.  Sources also indicate that North Korea could control as many as 60 nuclear weapons, although it remains unclear how many have been miniaturized.

What can the United States do?

President Trump has threatened military strikes, but doing so could cause North Korea to retaliate against South Korea. Worse yet, it might draw China and the United States into conflict, potentially sparking World War III. Yet, a nuclear armed North Korea might simply be a threat too great to ignore.

It’s been more than a decade since North Korea unveiled its nuclear capabilities. However, both miniaturizing warheads, and building vehicles capable of delivering it, have remained elusive until this year. Now, intelligence experts believe North Korea may already have or is on the verge of obtaining both.

Once North Korea develops the ability to deliver nuclear war heads across the globe, everyone, everywhere will be at risk. Interestingly, North Korea’s continued nuclear advancement has continued under the watchful eye of China, the one country that might possess the necessary influence to stop its advancement.

In China’s eyes, a nuclear North Korea probably seems like a powerful thorn in America’s side. The risk to China, however, is just as great. Once North Korea has nuclear weapons, it will no longer have to kowtow to Beijing’s demands. Any military threats by China could be countered by nuclear strikes from North Korea.

History has suggested that countries won’t use nuclear missiles. Doing so is suicidal, after all. However, North Korea is quite literally run by a madman and a small cadre of sycophants. If Kim Jong-Un believes that he’ll be removed by a foreign power, he’d probably decide that the ship should go down with its captain. Mutual nuclear annihilation might be acceptable to Kim Jong-Un.

If and when North Korea develops the capabilities to launch nuclear strikes, it will become a true rogue state, beholden to no one. The country is already a sad joke under Kim’s leadership, but once his regime can hide behind nuclear strikes, what’s to stop North Korea from lashing out?

If North Korea were to attack South Korea, what would America’s retaliatory options be?

Conventional strikes might be countered with nukes pointed at New York, Washington D.C., and elsewhere. Could the country threaten and force the dropping of sanctions and if it doesn’t get its way, could it decide to launch nuclear strikes? Such a measure might seem unlikely, but then again Kim is perhaps the most unpredictable leader in the world.

If China can’t or won’t reign in North Korea, it may be time to open up the play book and see what other options can be put on the table. War or military strikes are never anything we should rush towards, but a nuclear-armed North Korea presents a grave threat to humanity as a whole.

Brian Brinker

Brian Brinker is an OpsLens Contributor and political consultant. Brinker has an M.A in Global Affairs from American University.

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