Gruntworks Media Bunker
In the last few months tensions between the United States and North Korea have escalated. This is due to North Korea refusing to stop the testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) that have the capability of reaching the United States. The UN and the United States have asked Russia and China to assist in the negotiations with North Korea. North Korea has continued to test its missiles despite warnings from the UN and the United States.
Last week the UN Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions against North Korea for its continued intercontinental ballistic missile testing and violations of UN Resolutions 2371.
On Monday North Korea responded to the new sanctions placed on them by the UN. The North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, delivered a strongly worded statement to reporters on the sidelines of an Asian regional security conference hours after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson vowed to implement the stiffest sanctions yet imposed on the Pyongyang regime. In his statement, Yong Ho said that North Korea is ready to retaliate against the United States and insisting its nuclear weapons program is not up for negotiation. They have also stated that they have the capability to hit the continental United States with ICBM missiles. He further stated that they are ready and willing to respond and teach the United States a “severe lesson” with its strategic nuclear force.
This is the most direct threat that North Korea has ever made against the United States. U.S. intelligence officials believe that North Korea might have the capability of putting a compact nuclear war head on one of their ICBM missiles, and that it could reach part of the United States. This is what makes their new threats even more dangerous and it is something that is a great concern to the United States and other countries near North Korea.
Some intelligence officials believe that North Korea could attack Guam, which is a territory of the United States.
President Trump responded to reports of North Korea’s nuclear threats, by saying that if North Korea attacks the United States, they “will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which the world has never seen before.”
President Trump also said that the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “has been very threatening beyond a normal state,” he also added that the regime “best not make any more threats to the United States.”
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reports North Korea could have the capability of producing nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery. They further state in their report that dictator Kim Jong Un may control up to 60 nuclear weapons.
The Japanese defense office also believes that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has already advanced considerably and it is possible that they could have achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons into warheads.
U.S. officials have stated that miniaturization of a nuclear warhead was one of three things that the North Korean regime needed to obtain to successfully lunch an attack with a long-range missile.
U.S. Defense Officials have stated that North Korea has to be able to hit a target that is thousands of miles away. This means that their missile has to be able to successfully re-enter the earth’s atmosphere and hit its target.
North Korea has conducted 12 ICBM test this year. The most successful test was conducted in July. The ICBM missile traveled 2,300 miles into space and 45 minutes into the air. This is the longest and farthest ballistic missile test in the history of North Korea. But it is unclear if they have the capability to hit the U.S. mainland.
Mark Fitzpatrick is a leading expert on North Korea. He told Fox News that North Korea has the capability of miniaturizing a nuclear weapon for use on ballistic missiles. He further stated that “North Korea has been working on miniaturizing a war head for 30 years now and that the regime is “very technically competent. So, it could be possible that they could have achieved the ability to have warhead for their ICBM missiles.”
Fitzpatrick also stated that he does not think that North Korea has 60 ICBM missile that are capable of hitting the United States. He believes that they possibly have an estimated 20-30 ICBM missiles.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton tweeted “We’ve been playing the diplomatic game for a long time with North Korea and it’s only given them time to advance their weapons program”.
Harry Kazianis, a columnist for the Asia Times and a senior editor at the National Interest, told Fox News’ “Happening Now” on Tuesday that North Korea was a “full-fledged” nuclear power. This is something that many U.S. officials believe and it is something that should have been dealt with eight years ago.
On Saturday, the U.S. did achieve what many considered a diplomatic victory, after the unanimous approval of tough new sanctions on North Korea. Russia and China both were part of the unanimous vote for new sanctions.