I was waiting for Tom Nichols opinion on this after he sent out a few tweets on North Korea on Tuesday night. When it comes to issues of war and national security there are a few people I trust and Nichols is one of them. Not surprisingly, Nichols calmly and thoroughly explained the actual situation and avoided the fear mongering hyperbole. Nichols explains that North Korea is advancing much quicker than most thought but they have not advanced as far as everyone thinks…
The DIA report, if correct, suggests that the Norks have solved the warhead size problem. They still, however, have to figure out how to get that warhead onto a long-range missile. The North Koreans recently tested a missile that looks like it has enough lift to make it to North America. Note, however, that this is an assumption based on the altitude the test achieved: there as yet has not been a point-to-point test of an North Korean ICBM flying an actual six or seven thousand miles and then hitting the ground near a desired location.
Thus, to have a working nuclear ICBM, the North Koreans will have to test that warhead, successfully test an ICBM, and then test an ICBM with a working, missile-sized bomb on it. DIA is saying they’re a lot further along that road than we thought, but they’re not there yet.
Nichols goes on to explain that different scenarios that we definitely will be facing going forward. From preemptive strikes to preventative strikes Nicholas explains the pros and cons of each situation. It’s definitely a good read and I feel much more informed and calmer after reading it.