Home GRASP GRASP/Japan Missile tests put North Korea on Trump's front burner

Missile tests put North Korea on Trump's front burner


NewsHubThe autocratic 32-year-old leader declared in a televised New Year’s Day speech that his military is on the brink of testing its first intercontinental ballistic missile: a rocket that can be equipped with nuclear weapons and is powerful enough to reach any part of the US.
While US officials and military experts doubt many of Kim’s boasts, Trump may very well have to deal with an ICBM test and confront the danger Pyongyang poses to international stability.
The hermit nation poses a unique threat. While the nuclear nations of China and Russia are both pushing back against US power across the globe, they are more integrated into the international system and neither is as erratic or threatening. This all moves Pyongyang to Trump’s front burner as a simmering problem that might soon boil over.
Kim declared Sunday that his goal was “to cope against the vicious threats for nuclear war by the Imperialists,” a sinister nod to the US and its Asian allies
North Korea has been steadily working to improve its missile and weapons capability, conducting a fifth nuclear test in September.
American analysts say there are still questions about Pyongyang’s claims of technological advances — particularly to key elements required to deliver a nuclear payload — but the picture is still worrisome.
“It’s a very real and growing threat,” said Bruce Klinger, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. “Think Don Corleone, but with nuclear weapons. ” 
North Korea might be easy to ridicule as “the funny little country, with the funny little guy, with the funny little hairstyle out of Jersey Shore,” that can’t even provide electricity to its people, Klingner said. But “North Korea is a multi-spectrum threat to the US, its allies and international peace and security. ”
“This is the worst regime in the world trying to acquire the worst weapons in the world and the means to reach the US with them,” Victor Cha, a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said of North Korea. “In terms of a direct threat to American security, this is it. ” 
Russian, Chinese threats differ 
He said that threat is different than that from major powers Russia and China.
“With Russia and China, we’re mutually deterred” because of nuclear capabilities, he explained. “With North Korea, you just don’t know what this guy is going to do. ”
Pyongyang has a million-man army poised along the border with South Korea, where US forces are based. The state engages in massive counterfeiting operations of the US $100 bill and in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. US security officials place it in the top five cyber threats worldwide. It has an estimated 16 to 20 nuclear weapons and is steadily working to miniaturize them and improve the range and accuracy of missiles to deliver them.
North Korea’s new boast about an ICBM that could deliver those weapons to the US comes as Washington is undergoing a leadership transition — always a fragile time — and South Korea is in political disarray, with its president temporarily stripped of her powers because of corruption charges and facing a court ruling on whether she should be reinstated or removed from office.

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