- - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

North Korea may be on the verge of developing tactical nuclear warheads. These weapons could be placed on artillery shells, aircraft delivered bombs, land mines, etc. In other words, having a miniaturized nuclear weapon capability could give the Stalinist regime a vast new opportunity to threaten South Korea and the United States in a myriad of ways.

“While Kim’s recent nuclear threats are in keeping with the types of vitriol the North has unleashed in the past, they are also suggestive—in part because it has a continuous track record of these types of threats—of a North Korea that sees its nuclear weapons as inherently usable,” according the website 38north.org, which focuses specifically on North Korean analysis. “The question is whether the Kim regime believes that nuclear weapons can be used for something other than survival. The answer, unfortunately, may well be that North Korea believes employing nuclear-armed artillery, rockets, landmines or anything else that would result in low-yield nuclear detonations against localized targets in South Korea will not trigger massive alliance retaliation.”

“The possibility of a tactical turn requires preparing for limited military campaigns despite the specter of nuclear threats, waging such campaigns should North Korean adventurism require it, and thinking through how the alliance might react to tactical nuclear scenarios. The most dangerous periods on the Korean peninsula have historically been those brought on by surprise.”

In addition to threatening the alliance in the south of the Korean Peninsula with tactical nukes, having miniaturized weapons could result in small devices being exported and smuggled into Western cities. The ICBM threat is obvious and much easier to defend against. However, how can we stop these weapons from being given to terrorists or other state entities that want to do us harm?

This is why the proliferation of nuclear weapons is so dangerous. North Korea has a history of providing weapons technology to our enemies. Allowing North Korea, and now the Islamic Republic of Iran (the largest state sponsor of terrorism) to gain nuclear weapons capability is one of the greatest failures of U.S. foreign policy and of administrations on both sides of the political spectrum.

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