By Siegfried S. Hecker.
"What are the greatest threats from the rapidly expanding North Korean nuclear program? Left unchecked, Pyongyang will likely develop the capability to reach the continental United States with a nuclear tipped missile in a decade or so. Much more troubling for now is that its recent nuclear and missile successes may give Pyongyang a false sense of confidence and dramatically change regional security dynamics. The likely ability of the DPRK to put nuclear weapons on target anywhere in South Korea and Japan and even on some US assets in the Pacific greatly complicates the regional military picture"
"While the country does not want war, its calculus leads it to cultivate a permanent risk of one — and prepare to stave off defeat, should war happen, potentially with nuclear weapons. That is a subtler danger, but a grave one."
"The law of unintended consequences is in danger of taking the upper hand. “The two sides may thus be stumbling blindly into severe crisis instability and growing competition by China with respect to strategic forces,” Lewis argues. “A competition between unevenly matched forces is inherently unstable.”"
"Last year in testimony to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, created by Congress, he reported that Beijing felt increasingly encircled. It sees Washington’s hypersonic glider as a way to attack China without crossing the nuclear threshold, complicating its assessment of nuclear retaliation."
"A new generation of Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles may come into service as early as this year and will herald a period of rapid nuclear build-up by China, according to experts. With a 14,500km estimated range, the DF-41 is the first Chinese missile capable of carrying multiple warheads that can strike any part of the US from anywhere in China."
By Van Jackson.
"But while U.S. extended deterrence commitments to Japan and South Korea are the ultimate promise, it is a promise for the least-likely situation. And meanwhile, whether because of political expediency or the low stakes involved, the United States has played a marginal role in dealing with the smaller threats these two countries face: for Japan, Chinese harassment in waters around contested islands in the East China Sea; and for South Korea, conventional attacks by North Korea. The result? By failing to adequately tackle small-scale challenges with or on behalf of Tokyo and Seoul, the United States has cast doubt about its nuclear umbrella for those two countries.
This in turn reflects an unstated paradox: the strongest form of U.S. commitment doesn't address the much weaker quotidian challenges actually facing its allies."
"Private analysts said each upgraded DF-5 had probably received three warheads and that the advances might span half the missile force. If so, the number of warheads China can fire from that weapon at the United States has increased to about 40 from 20."
Robert L. Gallucci, a professor of diplomacy at Georgetown University, was the chief negotiator for the 1994 nuclear deal with North Korea. Joel S. Wit, a senior fellow at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins, was the coordinator for the deal from 1995 to 1999.
"The collapse of the North Korea deal has been used to argue that it is impossible to conduct diplomacy with rogue states. But the only litmus test that matters is whether an agreement serves our national interest, is better than having no deal at all, and is preferable to military force. The arrangement with Iran appears to be well on its way to meeting that standard."
"North Korea has an operational road-mobile missile that could carry nuclear weapons to the United States...[t]he KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missile was first paraded in North Korea in 2012."
"[O]n Tuesday, Adm. Bill Gortney, the head of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, told reporters at the Pentagon that he thinks Pyongyang has achieved a breakthrough. “We assess that it’s operational today, and so we practice to go against that,” he said."
An archive of news and resources on East Asian security. Rather than adhering to a particular political agenda, this archive aims to bring together diverse and insightful resources found while conducting research.