Ticking Time Bomb: The North Korea Problem is NOW

President Donald Trump shocked reporters on Tuesday with his line-in-the-sand warning to North Korea. Responding to explosive rhetoric coming out of the Hermit Kingdom in the wake of new UN sanctions, Trump said Kim Jong Un would choose his words more carefully in the future…if he knew what was best for him.

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” the president said in New Jersey. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

President Trump’s warning comes in the wake of a new report that says U.S. intelligence officials now believe North Korea is in possession of a miniaturized nuclear warhead capable of being attached to their intercontinental missiles, putting them on even ground with some of the world’s strongest nuclear powers. In a confidential internal assessment, U.S. experts inside the Defense Intelligence Agency have concluded that Kim Jong Un may be in possession of at least 60 nuclear weapons at this point – a far higher figure that many international analysts had previously assumed. Taken together – and in conjunction with some of Pyongyang’s latest ICBM tests – it paints a picture of a North Korea that is far more technologically advanced militarily than anyone thought.

In an excerpt published by The Washington Post, the intelligence reports says, “The IC assesses North Korea has produced weapons for ballistic missile delivery by ICBM-class missiles.”

Kim Jong Un’s confidence in his nation’s nuclear arsenal is reflected in his increasingly-defiant posture on the world stage. Whether due to pressure from the United States or their own fears of what the mad dictator may be capable of, China has responded to the growing threat by signing on to the Security Council’s latest round of sanctions banning nearly 30% of North Korea’s exports.

While many international experts are cautioning against overestimating North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, the facts seem to warrant the opposite conclusion, i.e., it’s time to stop consoling ourselves with nuclear goalposts and timeframes years into the future. Pyongyang conducts its nuclear tests underground, severely limiting the amount of usable information we can glean from them. Furthermore, the secretive, insular nature of the regime makes it nearly impossible to know – for certain – what the nation is actually doing behind the curtain. So while caution is always a good thing when it comes to the threat of nuclear catastrophe, we can’t be so cautious that we allow Kim Jong Un to achieve full nuclear statehood. His rhetoric alone makes him unquestionably unfit for such a responsibility.

Some have taken exception to Trump’s “fire and fury” comments, but we’re rapidly approaching the point where only fools will deny the situation we’re in. Our man in the White House is no fool, thankfully, and he will not allow North Korea to hold us – and the world – hostage with a nuclear arsenal.

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