Friday, September 6, 2013

Does North Korea Have Nuclear Capabilities?

Contrary to assurances made by President Obama that DPRK is far from nuclear capabilities, the idea that North Korea has missile ready nukes is not that far-fetched. South Korea, the country that is perhaps the most invested in the destructive capabilities of their northern neighbors, seems to disagree with American estimates and the South Korean defense ministry claimed this week that North Korea could arm their missiles with nuclear warheads. These worries are not without cause, on February 11, 2013, an underground explosion was detected that could have been anywhere between 6 to 40 kilotons of dynamite explosive force. These numbers were estimated from data from a South Korean’ Richter Scale reading of 4.9. These numbers are comparable to the nukes dropped on Japan in WW II which were approximately 20 kilotons.

Undeterred by tightening of UN sanctions on North Korea and denouncements from multiple governments, North Korea has continued their uranium enrichment program. In fact, since just last month, some satellite imaging shows the North Koreans having doubled their uranium enriching facilities. This comes after promises in February of 2012 that they would shut down their Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center.

Despite fears of nuclear weapons becoming a reality, biological weapons may already be a threat today. North Korea could have as many as 5,000 tonnes of chemical weapons stockpiled, including bio-agents such as mustard gas. The effect of these weapons could range in the millions of casualties if used. There are also reports of binary agents being in development. Binary agents become toxic when two chemicals are mixed together. This allows for longer storage, safer transportation and testing meaning DPRK could stockpile larger quantities of bio agents at once. Some fear that North Korea could produce as many as 12,000 tonnes during war time.

Clearly the North Korean war capabilities are tremendous, taking into account their technological advancements in the past decade in missile testing and nuclear research. Combined with the fact that they have the fifth largest active personnel and largest reserve troop army paints a scary picture for the day when DPRK goes to war. Considering the governmental instability they may currently be facing after their recent succession and continued hostility towards the United States and South Korea war could occur at any time.


1 comment:

  1. These are great facts that introduce a frightening reality - the North Koreans aren't just playing with the minds of the world - they pose a real threat. What is even more difficult to understand is how they can afford all of these weapons while their people are starving....