Time to Challenge Tehran, Pyongyang on Ballistic Missiles

September 8, 2017


Once again, Americans and the world are reading about North Korea’s gambit to intimidate its neighbors. The latest saber-rattling is the possible explosion of a hydrogen bomb, or at minimum, a tritium-enhanced “boosted” atomic bomb. The latter is cold comfort, especially when it is believed that another imminent missile is in the offing. North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un particularly likes to conduct tests when the U.S. is distracted — as she is likely to be due to Hurricane Irma.

Very troubling is that these events are a reminder of how North Korea is an intelligence black hole. The U.S. intelligence community has consistently underestimated Kim’s missile and nuclear capabilities. We seem to have gotten wrong the pace of ballistic missile development, its sub-launched ballistic missile ability, its warhead miniaturization progress — and now perhaps its hydrogen bomb development.

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International Cooperation