Prev: «   |   Next: »
  • 5minutes


    7. They have missiles that can’t reach the US, but can reach Alaska. That’d be great news is this was 1950, but Alaska is actually part of the United States, as is Guam, both of which can be reached by the BM25 Musudan (which actually has an extended range of 4,000 km, not 3,000 km), and Hawaii, which can be reached by the 6,000km Taepodong-2’s. An attack on any of those is a direct attack on American soil.

    There’s also the problem of…

    4. Logistics. Now, you are correct in that it’s not feasible that the DPNK could put boots on the ground in the US, and would face major hurdles in attacking us by sea or air. However, there are other ways to attack us. A single small group of people could cross the border and commit acts of terrorism against us (as the Afghanistan-Taliban-linked Al-Qaeda proved in 2001), except this time with nuclear weapons. They could also simply skip us and wage war on our allies, an attack which could involve those same nukes. Wouldn’t be hard for them to lob a nuke at, say, Seoul.

    • lee standberry

      At this point, there missile technology is very suspect, especially in regards to accuracy. So their actual ability to hit Alaska is more theoretical than practical at this point. But even if he could do that, it goes to the first point on the list – what would N. Korea gain by doing such an act. These guys may like to rattle their sabers, but there’s no indication that they are insane. Such a move would end their regime in a flash.

      The same is true with attacking Seoul. Doing so, as conditions stand right now, would be suicidal and would not gain N. Korea anything. Generally speaking, nation states – even those that are lead by people with inflated egos, don’t act unless they think they can actually succeed. They are not interested in being ousted because they provoked an unnecessary military engagement with the U.S.

      As to the terrorist activity, one supposes this is a more distinct possibility if it can be pulled off without discovery. Otherwise, you’re right back in the same position. This is probably why, I would imagine, that any number of other rogue states haven’t tried the same thing.

      • lee standberry

        Oh and you mention the Taepodong-2. This missile is not operation and the best information is that it is still on the drawing board, so its not a factor in the current capability of N. Korea’s missile forces.

  • harborcity13

    “is that he is well educated (he has a physics degree)” like a teacher’s gonna fail ’em. His dad invented the effn’ hamburger guys!

    • 5minutes

      His dad also got 11 holes-in-one on an 18-hole round of golf the first time he ever played. What a hero.

      • lee standberry


  • Dave

    They should make Team America 2.. This time, with Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman..

  • Dan

    While this was comforting to read, I still can’t help but feel like N. Korea still needs to be taken seriously, if not because of being a U.S threat, because of their unseemly lack of Human Rights.

    I get that this article is about NK’s threat to the U.S, and personally I found it fairly well written despite some flaws which have been mentioned above. That said, the general attitude of “they can’t hurt us so we’re good here” is not an excuse to put them on the back burner in terms of dictatorships that need to be brought modern Ethics.

    • jayo

      Oh, yeah, the US and modern ethics! Remember Nicaragua and Somoza? But oh, the Nicaraguans wanted some democracy and started a revolution against the US-installed dictator. So Reagan and the CIA funded their terrorists, the Contras with drug-money. Similar thing in El Salvador. Or Chile and US-Buddy Pinochet, Argentinia and US-Buddy Videla. Look at Latinamerica and the mess the US created! It would be flourishing right now if the US hadn’t intervened everytime democratic forces emerged! The US are preventing other countries from developing democratic systems for centuries. They installed fascist dictatorships everywhere they went! Look at Italy after 1942! The US and human rights? The US??? Come on…

  • wow

    Regarding # 5, has anyone thought about how porous the southern border is? Anyone could sneak across it with small suitcase nukes and go wherever they want once across.

  • JMGraberJr

    That can actually be placed on the administrations at the time than the US as a whole and that’s nothing compared to genocide in the USSR and China. Carter supported the first Sandinista rebels who ended up created a communist dictatorship that threatened Central America. Then the Contras wanted a democratic government so the Reagan administration back them. Also, the president himself was not part of the transaction deals between the US, Iran, and Nicaragua as proven by the Tower commission. As for the economically weak South American nations. Here’s Chile:

    Should I mentioned that Brazil has one of the largest economies in the world?

  • Tim Stroud

    Good points, and a well-written article. Keep it up 🙂