Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland is consulting with officials on the prospect of overhauling US policy toward North Korea.
— Telegraph News (@TelegraphNews) March 3, 2017
In January Trump tweeted the Hermit Kingdom is developing a nuclear weapon capable of striking the United States and vowed to never let that happen.
McFarland wants to recognize North Korea as a nuclear state. This would be akin to promoting a Boy Scout to a four star general.
Kim Jong-un routinely overstates his country’s nuclear capability. In January 2016, North Korea said it had tested its first thermonuclear weapon. This made for sensational and misleading headlines. As it turns out, the yield of the device was between 10 and 20 kilotons, far short of the 10,000 kilotons of the first thermo nuke tested by the United States in 1952.
Moreover, North Korea doesn’t have an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States. If it ever figures out how to reconfigure its Unha-3 rocket, it might be able to hit Hawaii or the tundra of Alaska.
The Nuclear Threat Initiative, a non-profit that works to prevent attacks with weapons of mass destruction, says North Korea has developed the basics of a nuclear program: missiles, short-range rockets, a warhead, and weapon-grade plutonium. But experts insist that the country’s faulty, error-prone nuclear arsenal is far from a global threat, according to The Daily Dot.
North Korea’s behavior is a direct result of provocations by the United States and South Korea. The US and South Korea are conducting “Foal Eagle” and “Key Resolve,” their annual military exercises that involve 17,000 US troops and Terminal High Altitude Air Defense systems (THAAD).
Trump’s North Korea policy will require a new round of spending on weapons, such as the previously mentioned THAAD. In January, South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn said his country needs the system, pronto. South Korea asked for pricing details on the system in 2013.
The THAAD system is designed, built, and integrated by Lockheed Martin Space Systems acting as prime contractor. Key subcontractors include Raytheon, Boeing, Aerojet, Rocketdyne, Honeywell, BAE Systems, Oshkosh Defense, MiltonCAT, and the Oliver Capital Consortium.
It remains to be seen if Trump and crew will, in fact, invade North Korea. Turning up the heat, however, is good news for the merchants of death.