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North Korea’s nuclear progress isn’t the only bad news

10 1 0
12.09.2017

CANBERRA – North Korea’s rapid advances are a game-changer, but the quality of strategic analysis and decision-making in Washington is highly suspect. This portends troubling times ahead.

Pyongyang has long had the ability to inflict massive damage on South Korea through formidable conventional artillery rockets. In addition, it has single-mindedly pursued six nuclear goals:

It may have increased its nuclear arsenal to 60 bombs, not 20 as previously believed.

It has acquired intercontinental ballistic missile delivery capability that puts U.S. mainland cities within range.

It has invested in solid-fuel missiles that can be launched on warning, reducing the time frame for a surprise decapitating attack by the United States.

Its nuclear assets are dispersed and hidden in deep mountain recesses, making it impossible to take them all out in a pre-emptive first strike.

It has mastered the technology to miniaturize nuclear warheads to fit them in the nose cone of the ICBMS in order to increase their range.

The only remaining technological gap to a fully operational intercontinental nuclear capability is to make the bombs survive the rigors of extreme temperatures, gravity and vibrations on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

In the U.S., meanwhile, the political elite and press proved how little they understand their own politics in the disastrous analysis of last year’s presidential election. It seems a safe bet that their ability to understand foreign politics is even more limited. Most are not bothered to read overseas accounts and some take the........

© The Japan Times