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US Says North Korea’s Threats Should Be Taken Seriously
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A new assessment of North Korea’s military capabilities reveals that the threat of a nuclear strike is entirely possible. The assessment, created by the US Defense Intelligence Agency and distributed to senior administration officials and members of Congress, indicates that North Korea is technically capable of launching nuclear missiles, though the reliability of these missiles would be “low.”

Since Dictator Kim Jong-Il died, and his son, Kim Jong-Un took his place as the leader of the isolationist and communist nation, Kim has made repeated threats against neighboring South Korea and the United States. His declarations of war and military action are familiar to those made by his father over the last several decades, but new developments in the North Korean military technology have raised the ire of countries all over the world.

  
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Since the junior Kim took power, North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests and fired a ballistic missile as far as the Philippines. This aggressive activity has started to worry South Korea, Japan, and the United States, and is being viewed by these nations as a way to demonstrate that North Korea should be taken seriously as a world power. Unlike his father and grandfather, who held power for decades, the junior Kim is something of an unknown political entity, which is why these threats, which were relatively idle when made by his father, are being taken far more seriously.

According to the New York Times, the report’s assessment that the “reliability [of the missiles] will be low” is a reference either to North Korea’s difficulty in developing accurate projectiles or to the challenges of designing a missile that can both withstand the difficulty of flight and then detonate on a specific target. It also remains to be seen whether North Korea has miniaturized their nuclear weapons to the point that they could be integrated with a long range missile. Despite the unlikely ability of North Korea to successfully launch a nuclear attack against another nation, the assessment is indicative of the seriousness in which the US government is taking Kim’s threats.

Pentagon press secretary told the Times that “It would be inaccurate to suggest that the North Korean regime has fully tested, developed, or demonstrated the kinds of nuclear capabilities referenced in the [assessment].”

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Secretary of State John Kerry will be traveling in Asia soon, and he is expected to meet with China to discuss North Korea’s threats. China is North Korea’s greatest ally, and Kerry is expected to ask China to use their aid as leverage to disarm North Korea’s nuclear program. Kerry will also meet with Japan on his trip, to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to defending them. Japan is expected to be North Korea’s first target if a military strike was launched.





 

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