“North Korea appears to have completed the development of a Japan-targeted nuclear missile,” the paper reported the national security source saying.
The test-fired missile reportedly travelled at 15 times the speed of sound. Japanese and US military officials said the missile flew around 800km and reached an altitude of 2,000km before it dropped into the sea.Sponsored Ads
Pushed by the horrific death of Otto Warmbier, Trump has begun America’s final campaign to disarm North Korea. Will it involve going after Chinese banks—or war with Kim?
The announcement, considered in the context of Trump’s other comments on the subject, appears ominous. Trump on April 11 said America would defang North Korea by itself if China did not do so. “North Korea is looking for trouble,” he tweeted then. “If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”
On Tuesday, Trump in effect declared it was time for the U.S. to act on its own.
Is war really the next step? Perhaps so, if for no other reason than the Kim regime has looked unstable for some time. …
When you’re going to implement plan A then always look at the secondary effects – the reaction. It often seems that the secondary effects turn out to be bigger than the primary effect over a longer time period.
In the case of North Korea, if the US takes out its nuclear program then what will North Korea, China, Russia and/or Iran do? They’re all friends of North Korea, so they could all do something to the US.
During the past 40+ years North Korea has consistently pursued expanding its nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) programs with impressive single-mindedness and determination, and fully in line with its national philosophy of juche (self-sufficiency). Available information indicates that North Korea: possesses—or will soon possess—operational nuclear weapons and continues to develop such weapons; possesses an ongoing offensive biological weapons research program, may possess an inventory of these weapons and continues to conduct research into new capabilities; and possesses a longstanding chemical weapons program with a militarily significant inventory of such weapons, and continues to conduct research into more advanced chemical weapons.
Download the report “Overview of North Korea’s NBC Infrastructure,” by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.
Find other papers in The North Korea Instability Project series
North Korea may be close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile, state media suggested Saturday.
North Korea is believed to have figured out how to mount a miniaturized nuclear bomb on a ballistic missile, the re-entry vehicle is suspected to have survived the IRBM test, and the North’s engine technology has improved. North Korea is likely still several years away from a reliable ICBM, but it is checking off a number of key boxes in the research and development process.
“But those experienced military leaders know. They’ve run the models. They’ve run the numbers,” Hanham said. There’s just no way to fight North Korea “without chaos and enormous death and damage to the world.”
Because US nuclear weapons would have to fly over China or Russia and most likely would spread deadly fallout in South Korea or as far as Japan, nuclear conflict with North Korea would be likely to bring about World War III — a great power war between nuclear states that the world has developed nuclear weapons to avoid.
In a warning to China, the defense secretary expressed his intention to maintain the “freedom of navigation” operation — maritime patrols by U.S. military vessels and other ships — in South China Sea waterways. “We cannot and will not accept unilateral, coercive changes to the status quo,” he added.
Inada took the podium following her U.S. counterpart’s speech. Addressing Pyongyang’s threats, she stressed: “The United States is making clear through both words and deeds that ‘all options are on the table.’ I strongly support the U.S. position.”
“In the East China Sea, government ships of a certain country continue to make periodic incursions into Japanese territorial waters,” the minister continued. “The construction of outposts in the South China Sea and their use for military purposes continues. I am deeply concerned about the situation,” she added.
There’s a real danger that over the course of a Trump administration that the US will be at war with North Korea and that millions of people in the region will die. I don’t say that lightly. I think it’s possible. I don’t think it’s likely. But, it’s not 1%.
And a year ago, five years ago, the likelihood of major military confrontation between the United States and major countries with real military capability was effectively zero, it was close to zero. That’s not true anymore, and North Korea is probably the place where it’s most dangerous.
“There is no amount of military pressure alone that will compel Kim Jong Un to volunteer to eliminate his nuclear and missile programs,” said Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
After two decades of sticking largely to the same ineffective playbook, the course is unlikely to change without a drastic shift in policy from an outside nation.
“The likely outcome will be similar to prior efforts,” predicted Robert Ross, a Boston College professor and China policy expert. “North Korea will call our bluff, the US will draw back from using military force, and North Korea will continue to develop their nuclear program.”
“But what was most alarming was a well-managed Facebook group I’m part of called ‘Expat Women in Korea,'” Chavez added. “There were a lot of women legitimately nervous, some were even army wives. I’ve never seen that many expats worried. They were all asking each other what we should do and where we should go if war breaks out. And the worst part was I didn’t feel like anyone had a concrete answer besides getting registered with the US embassy.”
Everyone I spoke to had given their info to the embassy as part of the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so they could be contacted in case of emergency, but that seems like a small step when faced with the prospect of nuclear war.
For the first time in over two decades, two aircraft carriers are conducting a joint naval exercise off the Korean Peninsula.
The nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson have begun dual-carrier operations, … .
“It is unclear when and where the USS Nimitz will meet up with one of the other carriers,” I reported on May 30. “According to U.S. Navy sources, the USS Nimitz was originally scheduled to deploy to the Middle East, but recent tensions on the Korean Peninsula made the U.S. government decide to dispatch the ship to the Western Pacific.”
Once the Nimitz CSG deploys to the Western Pacific, three of the U.S. Navy’s 11 supercarriers will be present in the region.