Scientists and security experts studying North Korea’s nuclear test on Tuesday believe the rogue nation is closing in on being able to place a nuclear weapon atop a missile and loft it at another country.
That, all believe, immediately raised the stakes of the dangerous game the North Koreans have been playing for the past decade. The problem for the United States is that with each North Korean advance, the possible U.S. responses decrease and get more aggressive. In fact, some experts believe the options now are just two: a pre-emptive strike on North Korea’s nuclear facilities or targeting any rocket or missile not long after it leaves the launch pad.
“What matters in these tests aren’t the missiles or even the devices, it’s the North Korean intent,” said Stephen Long, an international security expert at the University of Richmond in Virginia. “These are just the latest moves in a long game North Korea is playing. It’s an attempt to gain leverage.”
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