Is the North Korean Nuke Threat to the US Real?

Today North Korea announced it was conducting a third nuke test in defiance of UN punishment.  While the North Koreans claim they’re simply trying to launch satellites, they also allowed that their ultimate goal was to have the ability to reach out and touch the United States.  Here’s a quote from the government’s official nuke commission (that refers to the nation by it’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea):

“We do not hide that a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the DPRK one after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it in the upcoming all-out action, a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century, will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people.”

As with all wannabe nuclear powers some of the desire is about actually having the strike capability and some of it is about provoking your enemies.  North Korea is certainly illiciting a “you better not” response from the rest of the world, most vocally the U.S., but are they really moving toward having a viable nuclear weapons arsenal?

AP reports that North Korea is estimated to have stored up enough weaponized plutonium for four to eight bombs, according to scientist Siegfried Hecker, who visited the North’s Nyongbyon nuclear complex in 2010.  But they gooned a rocket launch back in April, which both demonstrated they had a ways to go to realize the dream and embarrassed them to the degree that they seem to be redoubling their efforts.

In any case, the North Korean’s made their motivation clear toward the end of their statement today:

“Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words, as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival.”

Roger that, you Nutty Norks.  Cue the theme music . . .

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaXWy-HQefc]

  • tmb2

    “a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century,”

    Really? I had no idea Thomas Jefferson had a blood feud with the Korean people.

    • Logan

      The more you know…
      http://youtu.be/v3rhQc666Sg

    • JamalTheBanker

      Kim Jong Un probably listens to a lot of Nickelback

    • blight_

      George III was an ally of the Soviet Union, dur

  • BlackOwl18E

    I’m more worried about them selling designs for nuclear reactors and nuclear materials to rogue states. The reactors that the Israel destroyed in Syria via air-strike looked remarkably close to those made by the North Koreans. I don’t think the North Koreans have the missiles to use nuclear warheads against us effectively, but selling them to some country with a radical terrorist organization that can use it in some other way that is less conventional could be a problem.

    • SFC-C+11

      The designs for the North Korean reactors and Syria’s reactor came from THE SOVIET UNION.
      Nuke plans came from Dr. A.Q. KHAN and were sold to Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and others. Iran and North Korea recently signed a Science and Technology agreement with North Korea, and Iranians were, repotedly, nearby at the last missile launch by North Korea.
      I agree with the selling of nuke materials to radical aligned nations though, that is the way North Korea would probably go.
      This next nuke test could be with assistance and guidence from Iran too.

  • istudynukes

    It must be understood that North Korea NEEDs to conduct additional tests in order to validate their designs. Their first test was a failure. The second merely verified a crude device. The North Koreans need to test a miniaturized device (one that can be delivered via missile or plane). Until then, they really don’t have a credible nuclear deterrent.

  • Taylor

    Perhaps we should encourage our allies in the region to develop nuclear weapons for their own defense.

    • Guest

      This is very likely what is going to happen, particularly as the US becomes less reliable as an ally and the Chinese become more bellicose…

    • SJE

      I agree. The Chinese have been using the Norks as a way to irritate Japan and the West. This only works if the Japanese and the West keep their long standing policy of non-proliferation and peace under the US nuclear umbrella. If the Japanese and South Koreans went and got nukes, you might see the Chinese finally start yanking on the chain of Norks.

      Alternatlvely, I would like to see some sort of sanctions against the Chinese for supporting these goons.

  • andy

    I hope NKorea take action rather threat and trhreat….

  • Lance

    Funny how liberal Idiots worry more about a US law abiding citizen owning a semi auto AR than manics in North Korea owing Nuclear weapons and rockets that can hits with said weapons.

    Shows us this nation is done for people who run it too stupid to defend it.

  • SDN

    Let’s be honest! We have been a country for 238-years and we have been at war for 212 years! Talks cheap!

  • GreenTeaLeaves

    Time and time again, I am amazed to see how we react to typical political hyperbole, not to mention the demonizing of our “enemies.” There is absolutely no way DPRK will launch a nuclear strike against the US – here the D in MAD applies to DPRK, not the US. All that we see in the media is just puffery and posturing by DPRK, probably more for KJE to shown others in DPRK that he’s in control and can face up to the only world superpower.

    As mentioned by BlackOwl, I think that proliferation is the more important issue and all this mention in the media about DPRK’s supposed ICBM nuclear strike capability is just useless and detracts from the more important and relevant discussion on non-proliferation.

    If your avowed gargantuan enemy offered you some food because you are hungry and, in turn, wants you to give up your prized weapon, would you? Absolutely not.

    There is absolutely no way DPRK will give up their nuclear weapons development or their ballistic missile tech. We gotta get past that and make a deal with them for not spreading their nuclear weapons technology in return for food. THAT is a more realistic option, albeit possibly more difficult to police.

    • Guy

      It doesn’t MATTER if you think they ‘will’ or not. The leader of this country, currently focusing all it’s efforts into war and nuclear weaponry, has just said ‘We are making weapons to fight America’

      I don’t care if this jackass is serious or not, NK is NOTHING but a blight. It’s country is absolutely worthless, and it’s leaders are horrible human beings. I’m 100% against war for almost any reason. I don’t supoort any of the bush wars, and I don’t support the Israel/Iran war. But this, NK needs to be shut down for good. We need to move in, take them ALL out, and let South Korea claim the lands to rebuild.

      That way, we can all Gangnam style together.

    • As long as the exist in the present form, the NORKS will keep on incrementally improving their capability, selling goodies on the black market.

      But in 30 years, who knows what they will have. For all we know they are really working for China. After all, China supports them. They may be a foil for the eventual showdown with China over resource areas China claims as their own, since once upon a time during the Ming Dynasty, someone planted a Chinese flag.

  • TonyC

    North Korea palys brinkmanship all the time, they are upping the game. They may make a fatal mistake and actually tigger a nuclear exhange.

  • dennisbuller

    We have kept these idiots locked up for decades. Their economy is worthless.
    What a great ally China has there…..They must be so proud:)
    Forget going to war. Forget giving nukes to South Korea and Japan.
    This is just another round of saber rattling by a nut-job so they can stay in power while oppressing their people.

    • Commodore 64

      Yeah, fly over NK and drop millions of cell phones – that should do it. Then crank up the cell antennas in SK up to eleven and see the system crumble from inside.

  • Ripley

    Never mind nuking the US, he should shoot his hairdresser first.

    • SJE

      he needs the hair to reach 5 ft

      • blight_

        He’s trying to slim his fat, well-fed face in a country of gaunt, starving victims.

    • Kelley

      LOL! I agree! Too funny.

  • JSCS

    Telephone ring: Hello, oh hey Kim, what’s up? You need what…..food….fuel….uh huh…gosh, don’t know how to tell ya this but, things are tight over here too. Uh huh, yep, you have a what? Oh good, you play with that and see what it does for you. Try that game with your buds to the north, maybe they’ll listen. Hanging up now, thanks for calling….

  • Roland

    If they become a threat start distroying their satellittes which could serve as gps for their BMs

  • CEH

    I hope their plans blow up in their face.

  • Roland

    I do believe there is a threat. They ( North Korea) already anounce it (Although the North Korean statement Thursday said the nuclear tests and rocket launches were “targeted at the United States”) and we should begin preparing our defense, precaution and be ready for the inevitable.
    http://www.voanews.com/content/north-korea-threat

  • Dean

    No. North Korea is not a real threat. NK is working on an offensive capability to which we already have significant counters already in place. We have satellite and other surveilance that provides warning. We have, what, three? levels of ballistic missile defense tested and some parts active and operational. Even if one got through at this time NK can only hope to toss it in our general direction and hope it hits something good, which would be bad for US, but we are resiliant and will survive. NK wont last 24 hours. Why would they build something they surely know we already have a counter for? I can’t be because they *actually* intend to use it. Are they suicidal? No. The nuke is an internal and external political weapon. NK is not a military threat.

    • Menzie

      Umm okay what about one that detonates over the mainlan US? The ballistic defence is inbound, if it blows up before it re-enters then the US is crippled for 10 years. All electronics useless. All has to be replaced, not just replace a little chip. Millions would die from food shortages, plain accidents, etc. Who cares about MAD in that situation. We need to stop the NORK’s in their tracks.

      • Dean

        Ah the EMP chestnut. Different discussion perhaps but I stand by my points. I am certain the US will retaliate with assured destruction if any sort attack was made. Even if we get hurt, we will survive. NK will not. This is of course not to diminish any efforts at sanctions and diplomacy, we should continue them. Eventually China will apply the necessary pressure. Geology exercise: pressure and time. For now I am not buying into the hysteria. I hold that NK is ultimately a rational actor and will not try and nuke anyone.

    • SJE

      What if the NKs started more aggressively attacking and sinking warships? Would the North Koreans think they might get away with it? If the North Koreans nuked a Japanese, or South Korean city, would we sit by? If the US retaliated, would China sit by? Russia?

      • Artiewhitefox

        The nations relying on weapons are no better than North Korea. The money can be used to help people not kill people. God in us being good to people.

    • Artiewhitefox

      Satan is suicidal. He will rush toward the city of God as it is recorded in Revelation 20, 9, KJV, Gods light seen as fire will devour him.

  • Alba Thistleman

    LOL…is this conversation on an intelligent level?? To start with…who the hell NEEDS nukes? Hasn’t mankind found enough ways already to kill each other? Nuke Power is the most DANGEROUS, and expensive way to BOIL WATER! So you want ‘retards” to play with this?? Really? Why don’t we get a band of chimpanzees”’give them each a loaded AK…and turn them loose in the streets! It’s tha same thing…The sanctions should be TIGHTER….Hell..AMERICA doesn’t even need nuke weapons…but now we’ve mucked everytrhing up…it can’t be undone…so let’s do the right thing…make em a “parking lot”..just like Iran and their buddies…

  • A Southern Canadian

    Dear korea, do not affect southern canada please, otherwise go ahead have fun.

  • Arizona

    And where are the posts of what the USA is doing, if anything to guard itself against these very real threats?

  • ALHAJI JIMOH

    WHY DO HUMAN BEING PRODUCE AMMUNITION? ITS WHAT YOU PLAN FOR THAT YOU WILL CERTAINLY GET.

  • Whatever man

    I think the best thing would be to do nothing, sense nothing is going to happen to us and it would save us money to not deploy troops. Besides, If North Korea was capable of wiping us out they wouldn’t be threatening us, countries that aren’t up to par use fear.

  • Pat

    Mr Lance … deaths in US due to firearms – guns, rifles, AR -15 etc kill 23000 people in US every year.. many die due to their husbands upset, settling scores, killing prosecutors etc .. children die from these guns .. Do you ever consider that or you just buy weapons for hunting only?

  • guest

    All I know is it seems that everything is going down the tubes fast economy is gonna crash misile threats are against us and thing are blowing up all over the place hell I cant even make a ham sandwich without seeing how misreable people are