4 Frightening Ways North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons May Actually Be Used

Kim Jong-un has been at it again: another intercontinental ballistic missile testand a further verbal threat against the United States. Yet, despite all of North Korea’s technical developments and rhetorical bluster, the United States and its allies are almost certainly safe from a deliberate nuclear strike. Kim Jong-un is a rational actor driven by one all-consuming goal: survival. To intentionally attack the United States or its allies with nuclear missiles would almost certainly result in nuclear retaliation or a regime-change driven invasion. As Robert Kelly noted in the National Interest, “Pyongyang knows there is no way to use their weapons for gain that would not immediately provoke massive counter-costs.”

This does not mean, however, that the world is entirely safe from a North Korean nuclear attack…

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  • Kim is not “a rational actor” – he is an all-powerful dictator driven by ego. His lifestyle probably makes him completely delusive as regards his power and importance. He does not mind enslaving and killing his own people for nothing – so, he will not mind destroying his country or even being killed himself.

    • El Martyachi ✓ᴴᵉˡᶦᶜᵒᵖᵗᵉʳᶦˢᵗ

      He’s livin’ the dream…

    • Ho Hum

      Kim has seen what happened to Qaddafi and Saddam Hussein – two leaders who abandoned their WMD programs (in the case of Libya a nascent nuclear program) only to be attacked and overthrown by US lead western forces. It is not “irrational” for Kim to want to acquire nuclear weapons or for that matter Iran – which faces the threat of a nuclear armed Israel – to want to acquire nukes.

      As the story accurately reports – Kim will not use his nukes unilaterally but if attacked by the U.S. and he is facing the same fate as Qaddafi (who was sodomized with a bayonet before being killed) would fire off his nukes on S Korea killing millions of S Korean’s and 10’s of thousands of Americans.

  • tom_billesley

    Politicians in the west take comfort in the belief that the North Koreans are still some way from a practical delivery system.
    Making a nuclear bomb light enough to use as a missile warhead is difficult. However, for a first strike it’s easy to place a nuclear bomb into the hold of a small ship and sail into a harbour, provided you have fanatical followers who’ll make the suicide run. It may even be possible to place nuclear bombs in shipping containers and despatch them in the the usual manner.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Scenarios 2 and 3 are extremely improbable. Scenario 1, was the policy of South Africa. ZA had up to 6 to 8 ‘basic’ weapons that it would deploy in its own soil as a tactical defense against a massive wave of conventional forces. ZA always believed that if push came to shove they could be confronted with Soviet, Cuban and Warsaw Pact armies broadly attacking from Angola and Mozambique

  • Barrington Minge

    Time that Kim Jong Fat-Boy was dealt with.