(NationalSentinel) War:Â While U.S. intelligence (and the intelligence services of every other great power) are well aware that North Korea has exploded nuclear devices, what is less clear is what type of delivery systems Pyongyang possesses for those weapons.
Thus far it is believed that the North does not have the capability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead and affix it atop an ICBM, hence Pyongyang’s feverish ballistic missile testing pace.
But because the North Korean state is so reclusive it is not possible to know for certain, so any threat by Pyongyang to actually deploy and use a nuclear weapon must be taken seriously.
And that’s just what Pyongyang has done. As reported byÂ Reuters:
North Korean state media on Tuesday warned of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of U.S. aggression as a U.S. Navy strike group steamed towards the western Pacific.Â
North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said the country was prepared to respond to any aggression by the United States.
“Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theatre but also in the U.S. mainland,” it said.
South Korean acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn warned of “greater provocations” by North Korea and ordered the military to intensify monitoring and to ensure close communication with the United States.
“It is possible the North may wage greater provocations such as a nuclear test timed with various anniversaries including the Supreme People’s Assembly,” said Hwang, acting leader since former president Park Geun-hye was removed amid a graft scandal.
Outside of the nuclear weapons option, North Korea has little real military strength to face off against a much more technologically advanced foe in the United States and South Korea. Logistically speaking, after an initial strike using conventional weapons – artillery, rockets and ground forces – the North is not believed to possess a very long logistical chain, meaning it can’t sustain combat action for long and cannot quickly replace losses.
It has no air force to speak of and its navy is decrepit, outside of a few modern hovercraft.
The nuclear option may be the only hand Pyongyang has to play, and it should be taken seriously. However, should the North use a nuclear weapon,Â leader Kim Jong-un will have signed his country’s death warrant.