North Korea has now successfully tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile that could conceivably reach the U.S. and Canada. Now for this weapon to truly intimidate, the nation would need a system to miniaturize live nuclear warheads that could fit on the missile.
The Worrying Part?
Historically most nations have been able to miniaturize a warhead by their fifth nuclear test, and North Korea just finished theirs. If historical precedent is followed, North Korea either already has the capabilities to reach us or will meet those capabilities very soon. Drastically changing the diplomatic nightmare that is the North Korean regime.
Although nuclear war has been a potential within the Korean peninsula for years, that danger has never directly pointed to us. The rogue state could potentially wipe out its southern neighbor but it would do so knowing that within days it would be wiped out due to American nuclear might.
In the simplest sense, the North Korean regime could not directly attack us, only our allies, allowing us to be rather patient and rely on the force of sanctions to control the state and not military might.
Today we can no longer safely do that, as each day that passes allows more progress to be made on the North Korean capacity to realistically threaten the world, potentially even sparking a new arms race.
Given such a potential for danger one is left to ask, how long can we be diplomatic with North Korea before we are forced to act? Furthermore, given the rapid advancements of North Korean nuclear ambitions how quickly could the next rogue state gain this technology?
A Network of Support
It is important to note that the North Koreans certainly have had help with their advancements. The first Scud missiles in North Korea were supplied by Egypt, while Iranian and Russian entities have helped North Korea develop other missiles. With nuclear technology dating back to the early 1950’s, it’s no wonder that a nation could rapidly advance their nuclear ambitions with a little help from foreign scientists.
As the number of people who understand nuclear technology increases, the capacity to rapidly develop homegrown nuclear weapons increases with it. In some sense, the capacity for nuclear proliferation rapidly increases with the existence of each new nuclear state, and with the existence of multiple nuclear rogues states, that scenario is even more likely.
This gives us only two real options. We will either have to accept the world in which many new nuclear states exist, grudgingly also accepting such regimes as that of Kim Jung Un’s, or we will have to act militarily before a rogue state can fully master nuclear warfare.
A Disturbing Choice
Each circumstance brings with it a potentially daunting future, as either we must accept living in a world where a dictator could with a flip of switch end existence as we know it, or we must preëmptively strike accepting the horrific repercussions that will occur.
I have yet to find the answer so I am left to ask, what is your opinion, and is there a better way forward? Let us know in the comment section.