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North Korea’s nukes

By Gwynne Dyer      

Start dialling back the rhetoric, because you are eventually going to have to accept that North Korea now has a usable nuclear deterrent. You can live with that, because it’s better than fighting a nuclear war. A direct U.S. attack on North Korea using only conventional weapons would not get all of North Korea’s nukes, which are hidden in hardened underground sites or moved around by night on mobile launchers. It would also call down 'fire and fury' on Seoul from 10,000 North Korean artillery pieces and short-range rockets.

A U.S. nuclear attack would probably still not get all of Kim Jong-un’s nukes: North Korea is the hardest intelligence target in the world. Pyongyang may already be able to reach the United States with one or two ICBMs carrying thermonuclear warheads, and it can certainly reach all of South Korea and Japan. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
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LONDON—The last time when North Korean nuclear weapons might have been headed off by diplomacy was 15-20 years ago, when there was a deal freezing North Korean work on nuclear weapons, and then one stopping the country’s work on long-range ballistic missiles. If they had been negotiated with the same attention to detail that was given to the recent deal that has frozen Iran’s nuclear program for 10 years, maybe North Korea’s quest for nuclear-tipped ICBMs could have

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