U.S. officials have long been concerned about the technology-sharing relationship that North Korea has with Iran and Pakistan. At the heart of their concern — North Korea’s desire and determination to become a nuclear force, which would dramatically change the world’s balance of power.
And what military officials just disclosed could also have a big impact on the balance of power on Capitol Hill.
Today, the Pentagon let it be known that North Korea has likely moved a giant step closer to being able to deploy a nuclear weapon on a guided missile.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a top U.S. commander now says that the regime of dictator Kim Jong Un likely has the capability to produce a nuclear warhead that could be mounted on a rocket.
Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon on Friday, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula, said North Korea now is capable of building a miniaturized nuclear warhead, a step needed to complete development of a nuclear-tipped missile.
Gen. Scaparrotti said the U.S. hasn’t seen North Korea test a miniaturized nuclear weapon, but that it likely has the capability to build one.
In a rather strange turn of events, not far away from where the Pentagon briefing disclosed North Korea’s nuclear weapons advancement, Secretary of State John Kerry was making his own announcement about relations with Pyongyang.
Specifically, Kerry spoke about the connection between Kim Jong Un’s willingness to roll back his nuclear program and the reduction of U.S. forces in the Korean Peninsula.
And the two D.C. events — at the Pentagon and at the State Department — seemed, at least on the surface, to be at odds in terms of tone and messaging.
As reported by Reuters:
It is too premature to talk about reducing American forces in the Korean Peninsula without “authentic and credible” negotiations with Pyongyang about ending its nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday.
Kerry said the United States was willing to restart denuclearization talks with North Korea although he emphasized “there is no value in talks just for the sake of talks.”
The U.S. presence in South Korea is a key source of anger for North Korea, which regularly threatens to attack the United States and destroy the South [Korea] in a sea of flames.
Given the advisory issued by the Pentagon, it sounds as though North Korea may be a big step closer to creating that destructive “sea of flames.”
Given the American public’s growing dissatisfaction with Obama’s foreign policy — a month ago, the president’s foreign policy approval rating hit an all-time low — it’s certainly possible that this news about North Korea will be a further drag on Democrat hopes of retaining Senate control.
Photo credit: cmccain202dc (Flickr)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom