As if the information from North Korea wasnt bad enough, things might find a lot worse within the next 18 months. We should not be shocked when the Communist dictatorship develops a hydrogen bomb the ultimate nuclear weapon with the capacity to kill millions of people.
A Defense Department official I talked to recently on the condition of not revealing his name told me it now seems the North Koreans are working to complete creation of an H-bomb, and that they could triumph in as soon as six to 18 months. Such a bomb could be many times stronger than the nuclear bombs the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan that led to the end of World War II.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un maintained early last year to have analyzed an H-bomb, but most specialists debunked these claims, arguing that the North had developed what’s known as a boosted fission weapon or in laymans terms, a stronger atomic bomb. Yet, reports at the time coming from South Korea maintained that North Korea had been probably one level away from a hydrogen bomb.
If U.S. missile defenses failed to stop a North Korean H-bomb from landing within our nation’therefore funds it may kill roughly 500,000 people and injure another 900,000. When an H-bomb hit New York City, the death toll could reach over 1.7 million.
When North Korea test-launched a second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last Friday, it demonstrated beyond doubt that it has the capability to hit much of the western half of our nation with such a missile.
Some specialists even claimed that the ICBM examined last week might go as far as Chicago, or even with some tweaking, potentially New York City or even Washington, D.C. North Korea demonstrated earlier that it’s nuclear bombs, by detonating them in evaluations.
Significantly, some would argue we dont have clear signs that North Korea has developed a nuclear bomb small enough to fit on a warhead atop an ICBM. And theres no signs that North Korea has up to now developed a far more powerful hydrogen bomb let alone a miniaturized version that may travel on top of a missile to achieve our shores.
There is also no obvious evidence that North Korea has perfected a way to shield a nuclear warhead so that it can reenter the air and reach its target upon reentry. Thats a big barrier, but definitely not insurmountable. America solved the reentry mystery in 1957 when we developed the first ICBMs, so its absurd to say North Korea couldnt possibly do the same 60 decades after.
Hydrogen bombs are thicker than a standard nuclear apparatus, so Kim would potentially need a more advanced missile than that which he’s analyzed so far to take a larger payload to reach the United States. But sadly for us, North Korea is apparently working on such a missile, called the KN-08.
The three-stage KN-08 might have the capability to transport a hydrogen bomb over a long selection, thanks to its more advanced configuration. Some have even claimed this might be another missile North Korea could test.
So just how dangerous would Pyongyang be with hydrogen bomb?
If U.S. missile defenses failed to stop a North Korean H-bomb from landing within our nations capital it may kill roughly 500,000 people and injure another 900,000, based on publicly accessible simulators online developed by specialists. My own office in Washington will probably be vaporized.
When an H-bomb hit New York City, the death toll could reach over 1.7 million.
Why think about such frightening scenarios? Because many politicians, defense officials, and specialists talk as if such a threat is years away as if we still have the time to stop Kim from developing atomic weapons.
The simple truth is this: we have run of outside road. Yes, Pyongyang might possess some technical riddles to solve, but we will need to work under the assumption that Kim currently has nuclear weapons that may strike the U.S. homeland.
Considering how many occasions in the previous year North Korea has shocked us developing its deadly atomic and missile arsenal faster than anybody expected we simply have no choice but to carefully prepare for the possibility of being assaulted by North Koreas nuclear weapons.
Regrettably, theres little opportunity we can turn the clock back and make North Korea a non-nuclear nation, but at minimum we have to stop any additional nuclear advances from the North.
Perhaps many people continue to deny that which our eyes keep telling us about North Koreas nuclear and missile programs for a simple reason: our brains wont let us to contemplate the frightening prospect.
Its understandable that we dont want to believe a regime so barbarous to the own people an outlaw nation run by a despotic ruler who has death camps eerily similar to Nazi Germany is now armed with weapons that can kill millions of Americans, taking its reign of terror global.
But to be honest, it’s difficult to believe that Kim will be foolish enough to flip his recurrent threats into action and strike the U.S. with atomic or hydrogen warheads mounted on ICBMS. Washington would establish a devastating counterattack that could wipe North Korea off the map. However, our leaders are reckless if they don’t do it to safeguard our nation from such a North Korean strike, however improbable it seems now.
We have to abandon the stick-our-heads-in-the-sand mentality the belief that Pyongyang simply couldnt construct atomic weapons or ICBMs that got us in this mess in the first place.
Denial of what’s right in front of us, especially when it comes to North Korea, is a dangerous match one we must prevent. Denying the possibility of a North Korean nuclear attack on the USA until a day later on only invites tragedy.
A U.S. assault to knock out North Koreas missiles and atomic forces could be a dangerous move. Since it already is armed with nuclear weapons and a powerful arsenal of conventional weapons, North Korea could react to some U.S. attack using a nuclear strike against South Korea, Japan or perhaps even our own nation.
Short of starting a second Korean War, the Trump administration only has no option but to spring into action and do whatever it can to stop or at least dramatically slow down the North Korean nuclear threat. Our best shot at this is to do whatever we can to take away the fiscal tools that North Korea needs to develop, test and deploy hydrogen bombs and even stronger ICBMs.
Thinking about how the North Korean economy is one-third the size of Ethiopias, taking away any funds the regime needs would earn a nuclear program harder and harder to finance. North Koreas population is already starving, as Kim spends enormous sums on weapons instead of fulfilling the requirements of his own people.
The ideal way to weaken North Koreas economy further, as I have said before, would be to take care of any entities that are assisting the rogue regime prevent international sanctions and raise funds illegally. We should also go after those who might be indirectly or directly supplying aid to Pyongyangs missile and nuclear programs. And that means China will be in the Trump administrations crosshairs, as it should be.
If we can end our refusal of what North Koreas army machine can reach, we’ve got a real chance of dramatically slowing down or stopping Kim Jong Un from creating the most damaging of all atomic weapons. But faking it didnt occur isn’t just a poor idea it guarantees it’s going to happen.
Harry J. Kazianis (@grecianformula) is director of defense research at the Center for the National Interest, based on former President Richard M. Nixon. Click here, for more on Mr. Kazianis.
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