North Korea settles for imperfect nuclear threat
Published: 10:09 PM, 23 April 2018
In declaring a unilateral freeze in missile testing, North Korea appears ready to settle for now with an imperfect nuclear arms capability, one good enough to stoke fear in the United States but which can’t promise to strike U.S. targets reliably, experts say.
North Korea said on Saturday it no longer needed to conduct nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile tests because it had reached its weapons development goals, even though U.S. officials and experts do not believe the North’s program is complete.
The declaration came ahead of talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in on Friday. Kim, whose economy is under pressure from international sanctions, is expected to meet U.S. President Donald Trump in late May or early June.
One big gap in the North’s weapons program, U.S. officials say, is that Pyongyang has not proven it has a reliable re-entry vehicle that can carry a nuclear warhead to a U.S. target on an ICBM without breaking up in the atmosphere.
Still, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who recently became the first serving U.S. official ever to meet Kim, estimated earlier this year that North Korea could need just a handful of months to become capable of staging a nuclear attack on the United States.
Cheong Seong-chang, senior research fellow at the Sejong Institute south of Seoul, said Kim’s decision to halt testing was a concession, of sorts, ahead of negotiations.
“Giving up ICBM testing while your technology isn’t yet complete means you are willing to give up at least that part of the missile program,” he said.
But other experts argued that Kim had conceded little, arguing that he could lift the testing freeze at any time and that his nuclear program had already achieved its main goal: demonstrating enough of a nuclear missile threat to be able to stoke uncertainty in the United States.
“They say it’s reliable enough, and you know what? They’re right,” said Joshua Pollack, a senior researcher at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California.
- COVID-19 cases, deaths rapidly increasing in appalling levels
- Five detained for spreading rumors over corona in Rangpur
- Boris Johnson`s pregnant girlfriend diagnosed with coronavirus
- Kathalbari-Shimulia ferry halted to prevent coronavirus
- Healthy newborn to coronavirus infected parents
- 34 more people tested for Coronavirus infection in Chattogram
- Coronavirus epidemic: Death toll surging to 65,000
- Coronavirus death toll surpasses 63,000
- BGMEA urges owners to shut factories until Apr 11
- Fire at Karwan Bazar
- Sehri and Iftar schedule revealed for upcoming Ramadan
- Coronavirus testing lab to be set-up in Cumilla
- 33 houses under lockdown in Shariatpur
- Madhukhali couple tested negative for coronavirus
- 2 Monipuri families under home quarantine
- Another woman in Gaibandha tests positive for coronavirus
- MP stands beside 800 families in Jamaganj
- Lightning kills 3 in Maheshkhali
- ‘Coronavirus test will be added to all medical college hospital’
- PM declares action plan to combat COVID-19 today
- Fishermen killed dolphin in Cox’s Bazar
- 2 RMG workers killed in Mymensingh road crash
- 1 killed, 15 injured in Brahmanbaria clash
- 8 types of coronavirus spread around the world
- Three physicians among 23 quarantined in Chattogram
- Call for Shab-e-Barat prayers at home
- Former Barcelona defender Carlos infected with coronavirus
- U-17 Women`s World Cup postponed
- Maximum 5pc LC margin for baby food import
- Coronavirus death surpasses 60,000
- All News »
- School holiday draws to Eid
- German minister commits suicide over ‘corona crisis worries’
- Corona death mounts to 33,976, infected over .72m
- Corona death toll crosses 40,000; infected over .8 million
- Lessons for secondary level students begins on Sangsad TV
- N Korea fires missiles amid coronavirus outbreak
- Padma Bridge’s last pillar work completed
- England plans to return field by early May
- Coronavirus death toll passes 50,000
- 2 more coronavirus cases detected, raising total to 51
- Kurmitola Hospital to treat coronavirus patients only
- Thai King self-isolates with harem of 20 women!
- Army to go tough from today
- 4 held in Saudi for claiming corona is ‘punishment from Allah’
- Edu Minister for continue students’ studies at home
- Salman Khan`s nephew Abdullah dies at 38
- Comedian Ken Shimura died of coronavirus
- 5 more test positive for coronavirus, raising total to 61
- Death toll passes 42,000 worldwide
- Infant, younger than a year dies of coronavirus
- No new coronavirus case detected in last 24 hrs: IEDCR
- Construction work of Akij’s corona hospital resumed
- Corona epidemic: Spain record 821 more deaths in a day
- Italy coronavirus death toll surpass 12,000
- Coronavirus case rises to 49 in country
- Corona death climbs to 30,879, cases over .66m
- Citywide quarantine in Moscow
- What Trudeau’s wife says after healing from coronavirus
- US coronavirus death toll surpasses 2,000
- Indian-origin South African HIV researcher dies from coronavirus