The international community should come to terms with the reality that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has consummated her age-long desire of achieving its nuclear goal. In other words, the UN member nations should awaken to the truth that North Korea’s Nuclear Arsenal now has a global reach. Chasing shadows of scepticism on this is an exercise in self-delusion. What more apt understanding does the world need?
International Confirmation Of North Korea’s Nuclear Arsenal
In early August 2020 security services from several countries alerted the United Nations Security Council that the “Hermit kingdom has likely overcome the technical hurdle,” that is, one of the critical steps in developing a viable long-range nuclear weapon. Earlier, experts had warned that what remained to be known was whether or not; North Korea already had a miniaturized bomb. And the potential to have it fitted to a missile, and then, develop the technology to land it precisely on a target to have a weapon capable of threatening the US. The Reuters News Agency saw that report submitted to the United Nations Security Sanctions Committee.
Is North Korea testing missiles?
Is there still a doubt that North Korea is testing missiles of various range? It is known that North Korea had neither tested a nuclear device nor a long-range missile since 2017, when it declared it had “completed the race for THE BOMB”, despite international scepticism. In that same year, Kim Jong-un supervised the perfect launch of the Hwasong – 15 intercontinental ballistic missiles system with the capability of bringing the entire US mainland under its range. What more, Kim’s North Korea’s nuclear arsenal included the test of a thermonuclear bomb (device) at its underground test site that was so powerful it caused the mountain above to collapse partially.
Kim Jong-un runs very secretive government machinery that renders all its achievements open to speculation. But its achievements are daunting by all ramifications, given the reports relayed from different intelligence services, many of which have satellite images as evidence. It is not strange to the AEIA that North Korea is continuing to develop its nuclear capabilities despite an agreed hiatus in testing reached between Kim and President Donald Trump in now-stalled talks.
From its inception in 1948 when Kim Jong-il founded the Kingdom, North Korea has acquired notoriety as an outlaw nation with a reputation for demonstrating little or no regard for internationally binding agreements. In the face of threatened and enforced sanctions from the UN, Kim Jong-un like his father Kim il – sung flouted all decorum and standard norms of international diplomacy to begin the build-up of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. The DPRK’s acquisition of weapons of mass destruction is a program that has been nurtured and accomplished to the consternation of the global community.
Kim’s agreement with Donald Trump merely provided a respite for him to evaluate his achievements and forge a new strategy to outwit hostile adversary nations. The founding principles on which Kim Jong-il built the DPRK remain firm. A strong resolve to create a viable consumer economy fashioned along with the Chinese pattern with a formidable industrial base. Therefore a powerful military-industrial – complex needed to be put in place to ensure that the nation’s defence apparatus is self-reliant.
Does North Korea have nuclear weapons?
Kim Jung Un’s aggressively pursued and achieved North Korea’s nuclear arsenal as it exists today is a direct response to a world perceived by Koreans as running on double standards. The sense of insecurity inherent in the lead according to the US has compelled it to seek possession of nuclear weapons as a deterrent to nations seeking regime change in the DPRK.
All communist regimes by orientation are dictatorships and as a rule of thumb derive their functional prowess from a peculiar pattern of brutality. Kim Jong – un’s predisposition through his father and grandfather, provided him with the unction to perform in that vein. Consequently, touting an incredible nuclear capability to deter hostile adversaries has to be an adopted instinct for survival.
Trump’s engagement with Kim in that summit was either a perfunctory ruse to bring the inadequacies of the dictator to the fore or a clear demonstration of naiveté on the part of the supposed most influential leader of the free world. But it established a precedence that a future president could build upon, if necessary. However, as with all communist regimes, the basis for negotiations rests on an avowed principle of the zero-sum – game maxim. In such circumstances, not much compromise is envisaged, if any.
Kim has a vaunting reputation for savagery. In 2014 the United Nations Human Rights Commission suggested that the International Criminal Court could put Kim Jong-un for crimes against humanity. He has ordered the purge or execution of several North Korean officials including his uncle. He is said to be responsible for the assassination of his elder half-brother, Kim Jong-Nam in Malaysia. With all these, his stranglehold on the nation’s total fabric remains unchallenged.
The new sense of security has encouraged him to challenge all existing international restrictions, including non-compliance with United Nations resolutions and sanctions put in place to regulate the program of nuclear development in the DPRK. Recent reports by the US Army indicate that North Korea has up to sixty atomic bombs and 5,000 tons of chemical weapons, some of which can be affixed to missiles. And, he has defiantly vowed not to give them up.
He also has plans to increase the number of bombs to 100 before the end of 2020. There is speculation that the country may have weaponized anthrax and smallpox, lethal enough to enable one missile to wipe out 5,000 people in one stretch. Indeed, the US army in its report predicts that the Kim regime has “the third-largest haul of chemical weapons globally, ranging between 2,500 – 5000 tons, and in a war, the scenario is “highly likely” to use them with devastating effect in the form of artillery shells.
The regime’s cyber warfare capability is enormous, with over 6,000 hackers in its payroll, scattered around the globe, and has the potential to “conduct invasive computer warfare activities from the safety of its territory”. In the face of all this wrangling, it remains to be seen how much pressure and what mechanisms the international community, through the United Nations enforcement agencies can put up to rein – in this menacing “l’enfant terrible“.