United States pushes North Korea towards nuclear strikes


The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), which is also known as North Korea is under American sanctions for decades. During the last two years of his tenure, Donald Trump tried to broker a peace deal between Seoul and Pyongyang, which had failed because of the main reason that Washington demanded DPRK leader Kim Jong Un to dismantle DPRK’s nuclear program as a prime condition of heading towards implementation of a peace deal. While people in the West may hold the North Korean leader responsible for failure of Donald Trump’s peace efforts, neutral observers say – after facing cruel sanctions for years, it was difficult for DPRK leader Kim Jong Un to dismantle nuclear program for a number of reasons. These are:

  1. No country in the world has ever abandoned their nuclear program once they have become ambitious of emerging as a nuclear nation. It did not happen even in case of Pakistan and may not happen in case of Iran,
  1. North Korea has been facing visible intimidation from the United States for years, whereas the sanctions have caused severe economic constraints. North Korean leader Kim Jong Us possibly was under impression that once he dismantles nuclear programs without seeing certain degree of signs of sincerity from the United States and South Korea about the real willingness of resolving tension in the Korean Peninsula, his country would be exposed to possible threats of attacks from South Korea, Japan and even the United States, while Washington, with the help of its allies in Seoul and Tokyo may also attempt to unseat Kim Jon Un through coup staged by their agents,
  1. Another major concern on Pyongyang side would be – once they disbanded their nuclear programs and normalized relations with South Korea, it would open the opportunity for Seoul in further intensifying recruiting North Koreans as their spies and at one point might have used these mules in subversive activities.

With all these points and many more points that may not be at this moment coming into my mind – for Pyongyang, the only option is concentrating on developing their missiles and ICBM programs.

It may be mentioned here that, since President Joe Biden assumed office in January 2021, North Korea has ended its provocation pause and test-launched more missiles than ever, aiming to perfect its means of attacking the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons. The United States and its partners have strived to parry these threats through enhanced diplomacy, sanctions, deterrence, and a combination of offensive and defensive military capabilities.

According to media reports, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has resumed testing its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which are designed to deliver a nuclear warhead against the United States. On February 18, the DPRK simulated a short-notice launch of its Hwasong-15 ICBM, rehearsing how to initiate nuclear strikes before the United States and its allies fully mobilize their defenses. The missile flew deep into outer space, more than a dozen times higher than the International Space Station. It could have landed anywhere in the United States if launched on a flatter trajectory. This test is further evidence that the DPRK missile arsenal is increasing in quantity and improving in quality.

Since it began its “turbocharged testing spree” in 2022, North Korea launched more nuclear-capable missiles than in any previous year. Many of these launches displayed innovative techniques and technologies intended to negate existing US and allied defenses, such as using many missiles concurrently to overwhelm defenders, launching missiles from rail-mobile and submarine-based platforms, and employing hypersonic glide technologies that enable the warhead’s reentry vehicle to maneuver while descending on a target.

At the same time, DPRK’s leader Kim Jong Un has declared his country’s nuclear status to be irreversible. Furthermore, the DPRK adopted a new law that may authorize country’s field commanders to launch preemptive nuclear strikes and automatic retaliatory attacks if there is direct attack on the DPRK leader.

According to experts, in the coming days, additional enhancement to the DPRK missile arsenal are coming. In December last year, DPRK leader Kim Jong Un called for an exponential augmentation in the country’s weaponry, including serial manufacture of tactical nuclear weapons, reconnaissance satellites to assist with long-range missile strikes, and ICBMs intended for rapid counterstrikes against US targets. Having resumed fissile material production, the DPRK might have several hundred nuclear-armed missiles by the end of this decade.

Under such circumstances, what cards Washington and its allies hold in stopping Pyongyang in abandoning its nuclear program? Any decision of a sudden attack on North Korea would be extremely counterproductive and catastrophic, as in that case, DPRK nuclear arsenals will start firing like rain targeting the US and its allies thus causing an unimaginable nuclear havoc. The only solution though remains in recognizing DPRK as a nuclear nation, bring it under IAEA and lift sanctions on it thus allowing the country to concentrate on economic fields. Can it be done or whether the leaders in Washington would give nod to such initiatives.


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