Previous to Donald Trump taking the Oval Office, North Korea’s constant threat to wipe the United States off of the map was considered whimsical at best.
The rogue nation, whose isolationist antics have inflicted severe international sanctions for decades, has struggled with poverty and famine for most of its modern existence. Combined with their tiny sliver of ally countries, and it seemed highly unlikely that North Korea would ever trudge up the support needed to conduct tests of advanced missile technology. In reality, much of the world had written Kim Jong Un off as a communist crackpot with a few Cold War-era toys to roll out on parade days.
Now, however, the script has been flipped thanks to the successful test of a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile – a development that many in the intelligence community believed was still years, if not decades away. The reaction from around the world has been swift and decisive, for the most part, and now the United States is scrambling to ensure the safety of Americans against this newly developed threat.
“The United States plans to carry out a new test of its THAAD missile defense system against an intermediate-range ballistic missile in the coming days, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday, as tensions with North Korea climb.
“Despite being planned months ago, the U.S. missile defense test will gain significance in the wake of North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 4 that has heightened concerns about the threat from Pyongyang.
“The test will be the first of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to defend against a simulated attack by an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), one of the officials said. The THAAD interceptors will be fired from Alaska.“The United States has THAAD interceptors in Guam that are meant to help guard against a missile attack from a country such as North Korea.”
Kim Jong Un has consistently threatened to wipe the United States off of the map with thermonuclear devices that many aren’t sure if he possesses.
North Korea is thought to own several atomic weapons, including both plutonium and hydrogen based devices capable of causing far more damage than the weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. The question that experts needs answered, however, is whether or not the impoverished nation has the means of delivering these devices via warhead or not.