William Perry urges deterrence on North Korea crisis

Elias Hubbard
August 12, 2017

It's estimated that North Korea has as much as 30 nuclear weapons, but a recent USA analysis estimated that the country has 60 weapons. Bombs land on places believed to hide long-range missiles deep below the earth.

Rubio said he was not advocating for a strike but, "as bad as that would be, it would be worse to live in a world held hostage by this man's ability to strike the United States with a weapon".

"It's what we learned from the Cold War: Nuclear weapons can have a stabilizing effect". Nuclear deterrence theory especially is a "slippery intellectual construct", to quote a former commander of U.S. Strategic Command, that can lead to false intellectual complacency ( e.g., "Mutually Assured Destruction"). This U.S. analysis also estimated that North Korea has up to 60 weapons, although again, others estimate the number is lower.

But nobody in Kubrick's movie talked like Kim Jong-un (“American bastards would be not very happy with this gift sent on the July 4 anniversary, ” he crowed, celebrating North Korea's first successful test of an ICBM).

The US has now threatened military force with President Donald Trump warning of "fire and fury". Nevertheless, we are entering a particularly unsafe phase of the process, not least because the other two major nuclear powers in the world, China and Russian Federation, both have land borders with North Korea.

While North Korea has these weapons, the next problem for its military is launching them.

Is this where the world finds itself at the moment? As The New York Times notes, this type of missile has a range of 3,000 miles, which puts Guam in range. Indeed, as the scale of the potential disaster comes home to North Korean strategists, you can see them start to play with the idea of a “limited nuclear war.”.

But successive US administrations have also underestimated the country - and nowhere could such a mistake be more unsafe than in the case of military conflict.

Thinking about limited nuclear war, while unrealistic, is evidence that the planners are starting to get really scared about an all-out nuclear war, which is just what you want them to be. But there's little doubt everyone aware of the war will never be the same.

During this major battle between the Allied troops and Japan, 18,000 Japanese were killed and only 485 surrended, with Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi, the lone holdout on Guam, only surrendering almost 28 years later - in January 1972 - after being discovered by local islanders. The BBC also points out that North Korea said the January 2016 test was of a hydrogen bomb, not an atomic bomb.

Because that's what these North Korean missiles and nuclear warheads are about: deterring an American attack aimed at changing the regime. It's clearer now under his son, Kim Jong Un, that North Korea does have a strategy - to bully the world into respecting and fearing his government.

North Korea's leadership knows that "if there was to be warfare, the regime would be finished. They just ignored us", he said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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