Kim Jong-un is on his way to getting an ICBM nuclear delivery system. I wonder if this problem demands our immediate response or if time and prudent containment, such as our continual refinement and enabling of various missile defense systems, will take care of the issue.
Basically, North Korea is in an unfavorable asymmetric position for starting a nuclear exchange from a counter-value or counter-force point of view. For example, it has no domestic oil reserves and only three major ports, and over 20 percent of its population lives in its five largest cities.
Additionally, North Korea would have to rely solely on ICBMs as they have no client geography near our mainland whereas we have places like Guam from which we could launch aircraft delivered thermonuclear gravity bombs.
The situation seems somewhat similar to a kid getting a flashy sports car. The momentary high and elevation in peer status inexorably succumbs to one of maintenance of that status.
We’ve successfully endured with a much more capable and symmetrical enemy before and we survived. If Kim Jong-un decides to build a nuclear weapons arsenal and a fleet of ICBM delivery vehicles, he will face increasing and crushing economic costs for maintenance, improvement, and rigorous environmentally controlled storage to prevent electromechanical component and fissile isotope corrosion. These enduing and escalating costs will likely become a far greater threat to his standing among the North Korean elites than it will to the rest of the world.
Ironically, doing nothing could work to our advantage. Those nations vulnerable to a North Korean…
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