True to form, North Korea yet again used July 4 to fire a missile, but this time it was more alarming and effective than merely sputtering and dropping into the ocean. This week, the missile test showed that the communist regime can, as threatened, hit the US mainland with a nuclear bomb.
David Wright, a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, calculated the launch and ascertained had the missile followed a “normal trajectory,” it could have hit Alaska.
In response, the US and South fired missiles into the sea, demonstrating the capability of the missiles to strike deep within the North with precision.
The Trump administration has also responded by stating that North Korea has exhausted America’s “strategic patience,” and that military strikes against the Stalinist regime are now a possibility.
Despite the country’s belligerence, military commanders state that only restraint by the U.S. keeps a war between America and North Korea from occurring.
But U.S. and South Korean strategy, as demonstrated by their retaliatory missile response, can abandon such restraint at peril to North Korea.
“As this alliance missile live-fire shows, we are able to change our choice when so ordered by our alliance national leaders,” said Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, who commands American troops in South Korea. The commander added ominously how it “would be a grave mistake for anyone to believe anything to the contrary.”
Although retired US Pacific Command admiral Dennis Blair claimed that North Korea may “be developing 10 to 15 nuclear weapons” that “can do a lot of damage to the US,” America, with “2,000” nuclear weapons, could absolutely level North Korea–a fate that their government has to be aware of.
There has always been a crisis atmosphere between North Korea and the South and the United States. It must be remembered that the Korean War (1950-1953) has only been in ceasefire mode for 64 years. The conflict was not ended with a peace treaty.
That is what Brooks speaks of when he says that “self-restraint, which is a choice, is all that separates armistice and war.”
Meanwhile, President Trump tweeted in response to the North Korean test that the long-time ally of North Korea, China, might make a “heavy move” against Kim Jong Un. He also implied that Japan and South Korea, two countries well within range of any North Korean missile, could take action.
North Korea already has the nuclear capability to destroy South Korea’s capital, Seoul, potentially taking out its 25 million inhabitants. The regime can also destroy the 28,000 American soldiers guarding the South Korean end of the demilitarized zone. Japan is also under threat. North Korea could hit Tokyo and its almost 38 million inhabitants with a nuclear weapon.
During the Cold War, the American government developed a “Doomsday Clock,” which measured how close the world was to a nuclear exchange. The closest it ever got to striking twelve was during the Cuban Missile Crisis. But that was then. The Soviets, even at their most hard-line, never lobbed nuclear missiles toward America, and never declared the nuclear annihilation of the United States as a stated goal (indeed, the Soviets forced Castro to stand down when he wanted to empty his silos at the United States during the Crisis).
Today, the clock is even closer to doomsday time, and the fact that North Korea will be committing suicide does not seem to be deterring them. These tendencies make the authoritarian country more akin to Nazi Germany than their former benefactor, the Soviet Union. Hitler was willing to take his own people down with him if his goals were not met. Kim Jong Un is on the same path, if he finally achieves his goal, as written into the country’s “constitution,” of hitting the US with a nuclear bomb.