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Unprecedented Nuclear Strikes of the Invincible Army: A Realistic Assessment of North Korea’s Operational Nuclear Capability

  • AUTHORPeter Hayes, Nautilus Institute
  • Sep 22, 2011

Peter Hayes, Professor, RMIT University and Executive Director of the Nautilus Institute and Scott Bruce, Director of the Nautilus Institute, San Francisco assess that North Korea’s options for a nuclear strike are severely constrained—so much so that the only credible use of the DPRK’s nuclear arsenal is to detonate a bomb within North Korea itself to slow down or to stop an invasion in the context of an all-out war with the United States and South Korea. They conclude that, “At this stage, North Korea’s outrageous nuclear threats against targets outside its borders are not backed up by actual capabilities.  Countering the North’s rhetorical threat with more nuclear extended deterrence raises tensions instead of addressing the underlying problem of nuclear insecurity.  Ultimately, the only way forward is to re-engage the North, and identify pathways that create confidence and reduce the mutual perception of the threat of massive destruction, whether by conventional or nuclear weapons.”

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