Saturday, May 13, 2017

The North Korean Threat

By Jim Emerson, staff writer
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coat presented a bleak appraisal to Senate Intelligence Committee about the threat North Korea posed to the United States. He pointed out that it’s “nuclear weapons program poses a potentially “existential” threat to the United States.” The Hermit kingdom’s ambitious program will be a matter of time before they can deploy intercontinental nuclear tipped ballistic missiles.
North Korea’s unprecedented nuclear and missile testing last year indicates leader Kim Jong Un is intent upon developing and deploying ballistic missiles during his reign. His propaganda officials have claimed that the nation could conduct its first launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile later this year. 
Last year, the North Koreans launched a satellite into orbit using a liquid fueled rocket.  Recent missile failures have involved solid fuel rockets.
Their scientists are seriously working to build a reliable, intercontinental missile that could strike the United States. Despite pressure from the United States and China, Kim Jong Un is still pushing ahead with his nuclear program.
North Korea is working on both land based and submarine launched missiles. In the estimate of Carl Schuster, Hawaii Pacific University professor and former director of operations at the US Pacific Command's Joint Intelligence Center, “North Korea's missile program is evolving, as the country develops and produces missiles at a faster rate.” That assessment is generous and Mr. Schuster should ask: Who is helping them? 
Recent statements from Pyongyang indicate that the Communist State needs nuclear weapons to survive. The North’s recent tests in defiance of their protector, China, is proof of their determination to become a nuclear power. According to the state’s propagandist, Kim will not negotiate to halt the advance of the North Korean weapon’s program.

In addition to its ballistic missile program, North Korean Scientists and Engineers are working to develop “a nuclear device and processing fissile material, aiming to miniaturize a device for a warhead to mount on such missiles.”

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