North Korea has always been a headache for Washington and with the way it is working on its nuclear program, it poses itself as a threat to US.
Since the beginning of Cold War, North Korea pursued a communist approach with the backing of Soviet Russia and never let go of a single chance to show its hate towards the American way of life. From the early days of Cold War, Pyongyang has proactively utilized strategies to crush its enemies.
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Kim Jong-un, the authoritative leader of North Korea has stiffed foreign policy to other nations and is well known as a loose cannon. The foreign policy of North Korea is based on personal will, hate and anger, rather than general will, representing the public mandate and the whole nation is facing the consequences of a personal vendetta that has no end in sight.
In a recent development, the U.S intelligence has warned the White House that North Korea has the capability to hit United States directly with a dirty bomb. If that is really the case, it makes things very tense for US as tensions between these two countries continue escalating and could further escalate to a point of no return. An amateur yet extremely authoritative leader of North Korea has shown a proclivity to making decisions that are not composed of any logic or wisdom which is why one cannot predict what Pyongyang will be doing next.
Show of force
On the 70th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party, Kim Jong-un praised his military and sent a direct message to US by saying that North Korea is ready to fight any kind of war with US at any time. Furthermore, this was first time ever in the history of North Korea that such a huge parade was organized with a large number or tanks, helicopter, amour lorries and ballistic missiles.
“Our party dauntlessly declares that our revolutionary armed forces are capable of fighting any kind of war provoked by the US and we are ready to protect our people and the blue sky of our motherland”.
So far, Pyongyang has conducted three nuclear tests and repots suggests that they will be conducting a fourth, despite being hammered down by international sanctions for past and current indiscretions. Moreover, there are certain speculations that the new round shaped missiles shown at the parade are modified to carry nukes and can reach US homeland. However, according to others this could be just a ruse and were introduced only to create deterrence. But for US, this is a direct threat and they might not be looking to wait and see anything conclusive.
The US Defense commander, Admiral Bill Gortwey recently issued a statement in which he stated that his team is currently assessing the efficiency of North Korean weapons systems. “We assess that they have the capability to reach the home land with a nuclear weapon from a rocket”. Furthermore, he revealed that assessing the mindset of North Korean leader Kim Jong is not easy, but if they intend to use the nuclear weapon, the US Military is prepared and will do what needs to be done in order to ensure homeland security. He further added, “We are ready for him, and we are ready 24 hours a day, if he should be dumb enough to shoot something on US.”
Recent reports show that Pyongyang is building a new satellite by using a long range rocket, according to N.R Wacearjey which points out to the fact that North Korea might have gained ballistic launch capability, something that has been in the pipelines for a really long time.
Despite international sanctions,Pyongyang has conducted missile tests in past and they will continue to do so, showing complete disregard to international norms.
On the other hand, to deal with such unpredictable situations, US is injecting more money into its air defense program through which they will be able to ensure that any unwanted presence entering their airspace, is taken to the cleaners at a moment’s notice.
According to Gortwey, the budget cut down and the failure of US Congress to approve the budget for the coming fiscal year 2016 might adversely affect this situation. Since the launch of Spitutal-1, a modified R-7 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), and 96 Soviet larches that were modified ICBMs, America’s mistrust of North Korean claims of a peaceful space program is not entirely unjust.
North Korean nuclear ambitions: A lot of ground to cover
One thing however, needs to be kept in mind when it comes to the practical implications of Korean nuclear program and the launching mechanism it has at its disposal right now.
The UNHA-3 satellite launch by North Korea on December 12, 2012 might not pay off the ulterior motives of North Korea, if there are any. UNHA-3 is heavy and big for any mobile launcher and therefore it has to be launched from a fixed site.
Moreover, the highly erosive propellants required for UNHA-3 launch have to be prepared for hours before the actual launch, which makes it more vulnerable. In case of a war, the launch sites would be under close observation and any hint of a preparation for nuclear launch might result in a preemptive action from US.
Despite the launch of UNHA-3, which was similar to Soviet R-7 with limited service as an ICBM, North Korea has come a long way. It might not be wrong to say that in coming years they would be boasting ICBMs, which can carry nuclear warheads.
Although work is being done on 2015 UNHA, it is actually the 2020 KN-08 that will indicate how far Pyongyang has come in terms of an efficient ICBM while also giving more clarity to the current stance of North Korean Space Agency.