Pavel also recommended continuing Washington's offensive cyber campaign to disrupt North Korean programs initiated under President Obama, pointing out, "Since then, the failure rate of missiles tests has gone up much more significantly". But are fears of nuclear war premature?
There seems to be zero chance of a North Korean coup or a Chinese intervention to remove Kim. For years, the committee has examined North Korea's growing capabilities. The embassy officials categorically told the leaders that the controversial missile test was part of defence and deterrence strategy of North Korea as it has been facing the threat from the USA and its ally South Korea. "They've used bits of technology that they've been testing in smaller missiles, but this is the first time they've tested a missile of this scale".
Trump reiterated that threat earlier this month, after Pyongyang launched a ballistic missile test as a "gift" for the "American bastards" on US Independence Day, July 4.
North Korea recently test-launched a long-range missile capable of reaching Alaska.
"I don't think China has any particular desire to see a nuclearized Korean Peninsula either", he said, warning that such a scenario could lead to a regional nuclear arms race. The United States' greatest strength (our overwhelming military superiority to North Korea) is also our greatest weakness in dealing with the North Korean problem.
Gorka says North Korea isn't really a threat to the United States. Iran, a beneficiary of North Korean nuclear assistance, is watching how far Kim can go. "It's just not cost-effective with anything less".
While the relationship between the two nations has long simmered, the past four decades have focused on North Korea's quest to attain nuclear capabilities and the United States' efforts to prevent it from doing so. The call came after Pyongyang demonstrated last week that it could launch an ICBM. But even if North Korea is able to mate a nuclear warhead to an ICBM (not a trivial feat), that doesn't automatically mean that the target would be a USA city.
But for the North Koreans, he says, "the top priority has been regime survival". The dynamic economies and pacifism of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were taken for granted by China as easy targets for coercion and blackmail. Both Moscow and Beijing are hostile to any attempt by the U.S. to precipitate an economic and political crisis on their doorstep that Washington could exploit to orchestrate a regime-change in Pyongyang.
"Even the most limited strike risks staggering casualties", writes Rich, "because North Korea could retaliate with the thousands of artillery pieces it has positioned along its border with the South". Let's hope United States missile defenses are up to that challenge. Moreover, merely suspending their nuclear and ballistic missile programs is not enough. Although there would be no question of North Korea prevailing in the ensuing conflict, and in my opinion very little possibility of Chinese intervention, casualties could be high. It is widely believed that North Korea has dug tunnels under the DMZ, allowing for destabilizing attacks while the main force moves across the DMZ.
"That's hard to read", Schilling said.