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Can North Korea strike U.S. cities with ‘mini’ nukes?

This briefing makes it even more likely that the Trump administration has something planned for dealing with North Korea

(NationalSentinel) War: The entire 100-member U.S. Senate traveled to the White House earlier today to receive a top-secret briefing on the evolving situation in North Korea, as U.S. military assets continue to gather in the region.

Fox News reported that it was “difficult to overstate” the concern many members have regarding Pyongyang’s military capabilities which, frankly, are not widely known due to the secretive nature of the ruling regime of Kim Jong-un:

While North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has a reputation for bizarre behavior, the nuclear arsenal and aspirations of the Republic are being taken seriously. 

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests in the past 11 years, the last several being the most destructive – and now they are threatening a sixth.

Analysts are particular focused on an editorial in North Korea’s official paper, the Rodong Sinmun, which said:

“There is no limit to the strike power of the People’s Army armed with our style of cutting-edge military equipment including various precision and miniaturized nuclear weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.” 

Naturally much of that is propaganda – even the U.S. military’s strike power has limitations. But it’s that reference to “miniaturized nuclear weapons” that has lawmakers and the Trump administration uneasy.

As Fox News noted further, according to a recent New York Times report, “As Dr. [Siegfried] Hecker, a man who has built his share of nuclear weapons, noted last week, any weapon that could travel that far would have to be ‘smaller, lighter and surmount the additional difficulties of the stresses and temperatures’ of a fiery re-entry into the atmosphere. By most estimates, that is four or five years away. Then again, many senior officials said the same four or five years ago.”

The unusual Senate briefing, which was presented by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, was preceded by a meeting President Donald J. Trump held with members of the UN Security Council, also at the White House, in which he said the panel needed to be ready to respond with tougher sanctions.

“This is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not,” Trump said.

Fox News reported on a further development:

On March 9, North Korea released photographs of Kim Jong-un inspecting what appears to be a miniaturized implosion device, but that photo op was met with skepticism. “No reason to believe that is true, or to disbelieve it. No reason to dismiss it or to panic,” Karako said. He added, “I think that our insight into these programs is relatively modest. I think the posture of our military is to assume the worst.”

Earlier, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a frequent Trump critic, nevertheless praised his “commander-in-chief” skills, noting that while neither he nor Trump wants a war with North Korea, “he’s not going to let them develop a nuclear missile” that can strike the U.S.

 

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