Half an hour. That is the approximate period that a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile will take to reach Washington D.C from North Korea. An official report has confirmed that North Korea is capable of getting the missile off the ground; however, North Koreas ability to control the missile to hit a precise target remains unknown. The North Korean leader has however retaliated that the recent tests as a success and said that the entire United States is within range of his missiles. President Trump, on the other hand, has made it clear that United States has prepared all options to ensure that North cannot be successful in its attack on either the US soil or its allies.
From the current situation, the United States can deploy various strategic options to neutralize the escalating nuclear program in North Korea. The first strategic option is prevention whereby the US uses military assets to prevent Kim from using the weapons of mass destruction. This may include beefing missile defenses in South Korea and Japan which are her main allies. The Kim regime is believed to have biological weapons that include botulism, anthrax yellow fever among other and all of them are capable of reaching Tokyo, an area with more than 38 million people. As such, if such a region is hit, this will be one of the greatest catastrophes in human history. Installing defense system in Japan and South Korea which are the key allies to the United States will enhance their defensive capability against the missiles. Also, the United States will enable to monitor North Korea airspace from South Korea, and if a missile is launched, it can easily be detected. With these preventive measures put in place, the US will be able to eliminate Kims arsenals of mass destruction, take out the leadership and destroy its military before Kim thinks of deploying them.
The second strategic option is turning the screws whereby the US and its allies carry a more likely continuing attack using the aerial option such as stealth bombers to carry out air strikes. The US can also use naval assets such as Tomahawk cruise missiles from submarines or navy ship and probably involve special forces operations. Executing these options means that the US need to identify all various strategic targets within North Korea such as missile launchers. By doing this, the US will be able to punish the capability of North Korea and to avoid being perceived as a beginning of preventive strikes. As a result, Kim Jong might remain in power but will abandon his pursuit of nuclear ICBMs.
The other option that the US can use is decapitation. In this option, the united states might focus on removing Kim and his inner circle, most likely though assassination and then replace the leadership with a more moderate government that will work with the rest of the world. All the above aims at ensuring that North Korea is not allowed to launch any missiles; however, this might not happen since Kims missile launchers are mobile and targeting them is difficult. Therefore, Kim might retaliate in return, and it is this time that the US and its allies will have to rely on their defense system.
The US and South Korea have the capability of defeating North Korea, and therefore, the preventive option will be more successful. What makes a decisive first strike attractive is that Pyongyang menace is escalating and might run out of control with time. Whatever the shocking toll is causalities the peninsular war might result to at the moment, multiply it exponentially once Kim gets nuclear ICBMs. Even though the Kim regime is already equipped with biological weapons, its current striking range is regional. As such, the kind of solution that might attempt trump is a sudden hummer blow before Kims ability goes global.
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