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N. Korea’s Nuclear Program: What You Need to Know
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is determined to “establish the equilibrium of real force with the U.S. and make the U.S. rulers dare not talk about military option for the DPRK,” he said in mid-September, after launching two rockets that flew over Japan and testing several others.
The UN Security Council considers North Korea’s repeated missile launches “highly provocative,” and President Donald J. Trump says the country has “once again shown its utter contempt for its neighbors, and the entire world community.”
Russia is still holding out for talks, though. Vasiliy Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, said, “We think that threats, tests, launches, and mutual threats in fact should be stopped, and that we should engage in meaningful negotiations.”
It seems China agrees. That country’s ambassador to the UN said, “Honestly, I think the United States should be doing... much more than now, so that there's real effective international co-operation on this issue.”
Although world leaders disagree on what to do about it, there’s no denying that North Korea has now demonstrated its abilty to hit the U.S. territory of Guam with one of its long-range missiles. In fact, North Korean state media said Kim Jong-un had been briefed on a plan to decimate Guam but that the country would watch what “the foolish Yankees” do before deciding to act on it. Kim Jong-un’s priorities have consistently been simple: He’s focused on modernizing the North Korean military and fulfilling his predecessors’ nuclear aspirations. According to experts, the dictator’s desire for nuclear weapons is largely strategic. “The only guarantee of national survival is the possession of a credible weapons of mass destruction capability,” writes Dr. John Nilsson-Wright for the BBC.
What Do You Think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what North Korea is doing by launching a number of missiles, threatening Guam, and threatening the world with nuclear weapons. What do you think the U.S. should do about Kim Jong-un, if anything, and should the UN take more serious action? Join our conversation on North Korea on Facebook or on Twitter using the hashtag #NorthKoreanNukes.