North Korea successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4. Less than a month later, it successfully tested a second ICBM, one with an extended range. In the same month, the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that the Hermit Kingdom may have as many as sixty nuclear weapons, and that it has succeeded in producing a compact nuclear warhead for ICBM-class missile delivery. These developments demonstrate that North Korea, a member of the nuclear club since 2006, has the potential capability to strike the continental United States, in addition to Guam, Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. allies in the Asia-Pacific region. In fact, after the president reacted to the latest development of missile-ready weapons with the language of “fire and fury,” the North Koreans threatened to strike Guam.
The above excerpt was originally published in The National Interest.
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