North Korea: The Hermit Kingdom With Global Repercussions

By Walker Adams on March 17, 2017

The Head of the North Korean Regime Inspects a Map of the Korean Peninsula, Photo Credit: Reuters

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, popularly known as North Korea, has recently showcased its ballistic missile arsenal. Kim Jong Un’s recent missile test was seen by some as nothing more than a display of the North’s ever-present weapons arsenal. However, American officials are taking the recent tests much more seriously.

The regime in North Korea has demonstrated a wanton recklessness in its nuclear ambitions and the Hermit Kingdom’s quest to deliver nuclear payloads to the western coast of the United States has continued unabated. In the worst estimates, Kim Jong Un may have the ability to deliver a nuclear payload to Seattle in four years [1].

A potential nuclear strike on the mainland of the United States would not only destroy any sense of American security but would decimate the existing global security order. The repercussions from a nuclear strike would be incomprehensible and the international impact of the detonation of a nuclear device in the modern world would have catastrophic consequences. Nation-states around the world may interpret the usage of one device as an excuse to use nuclear capabilities of their own [2]

In response to a nuclear strike on its homeland, the U.S. could very easily turn North Korea into a parking lot. This reaction could further embolden nuclear-capable states, such as India, Pakistan, or Israel. In a particularly jarring situation, the instability of the Kashmir Valley dispute between India and Pakistan could take a turn for the worse. One of these two states could be emboldened by the usage of multiple nuclear devices and use their own nuclear weapons against each other. This would be the worst-case scenario, in which the effects of a single nuclear strike could cause nuclear conflicts to arise on multiple fronts.

Contested Territories Between India and Pakistan, Photo Credit: CIA World Factbook

The potentially calamitous impacts of a single nuclear strike would not only be felt in the fallout zone of the first strike. The consequences of one nuclear detonation would reverberate through the entire global security order and could spark nuclear conflicts on multiple continents. It is of the utmost imperative to prevent the further acquisition of ballistic missile technology by Kim Jong Un’s Hermit Kingdom.

As the North Koreans get closer and closer to fully acquiring the means to deliver nuclear payloads to the United States, the global security order continues to be thrown into further disarray. Nation states must be willing to use any means necessary, excluding the usage of nuclear weaponry, to prevent Kim Jong Un from getting his irrational hands on advanced nuclear weapons technology.

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