North Korea’s threat to the national security of the United States is due to its leadership, political dynamics, and military capabilities. The country’s dictatorial regime makes it impossible for many people to be part of national decisions and programs. North Korea has established alliances with countries such as Russia and China. These aspects have made it possible for this country to develop and support powerful nuclear and military programs. It has also tested several ballistic missiles and hydrogen bombs within the past two years. It means the country is capable of producing powerful weapons that have the potential to kill millions of American citizens. The discussion examines how North Korea threatens America’s national security.
According to many political analysts, North Korea cannot be described as a communist state2. This is the case since it has remained isolated for many years from other countries. It also removed all aspects of Marxism from its Constitution in the early 2000s1. Currently, its leadership is characterized by dynastic succession and extreme nationalism. From a political perspective, the country has an authoritarian regime that has existed for several decades. This political structure has created a scenario according to which the economy is controlled by the central government.
The country’s leaders have been mimicking the style embraced by Josef Stalin1. The Kim dynasty has managed to erect a powerful personality and a cult-like following. Soldiers are required to be obedient and supportive of every government agenda. This leadership structure has made it impossible for North Korea to associate or establish meaningful ties with other countries. The present regime has gone further to pursue programs and policies that are against the ideologies of the West. The authoritarian regime has also made it impossible for global society to tackle the North Korean problem. Consequently, the United States has been unable to monitor or predict the objectives and military pursuits of this country.
The political dynamics of North Korea are an issue that has attracted the attention of many historians and scholars. It still remains the most secretive state due to the existence of a totalitarian leadership built on dynastic succession3. Some researchers have acknowledged that North Korea is one of the regimes that pursue the politics of the Cold War. It has gone further to implement self-imposed political isolation. This situation has made it impossible for global society to gather information about this country. Pyongyang has also continued to pursue its nuclear programs. The United Nations’ decision to impose sanctions on North Korea has not improved the country’s political dynamics.
The one-man rule practiced in this country has reshaped political opinions and ideologies. Its economic reform has also been unsuccessful since very few foreign investors have managed to do business in the country. It has also established political ties with countries that are viewed as enemies of the West, such as Russia3. These geopolitical issues and developments have made it impossible for the United States to pursue an effective foreign policy towards North Korea. It has also been unable to gather adequate (or reliable) information about the country’s political agendas and military programs. These developments explain why the United States has been forced to acknowledge that North Korea is a major threat to its national security.
Experts in ballistic technology believe that North Korea’s nuclear program is developed and capable of producing numerous weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)2. It also possesses large quantities of dangerous chemicals. Some analysts have gone further to acknowledge that North Korea is capable of starting and sustaining an offensive nuclear war1. Most of the sanctions imposed on the country have not barred its leaders from this illegal behavior. Consequently, North Korea has continued to engineer, design, produce, and test new weapons.
In July last year, the country managed to produce a powerful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). It went ahead to test its first thermonuclear bomb within two months. North Korea has also gone further to provoke the United States. This development has forced many military experts in America to raise concerns regarding North Korea’s ability to threaten its national security2. America’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken the issue seriously since it is required to protect the country. Some of the potential threats include nuclear attacks, terrorism, and cyber vulnerabilities2. Government officials in the United States have also indicated that North Korea poses challenges to the country’s critical infrastructures.
On top of that, the United States has been ignoring the dangers arising from North Korea’s nuclear program. Within this period of neglect, the country managed to acquire powerful technologies such as EMP from Russia. The state has denoted a hydrogen bomb that is capable of causing an electromagnetic pulse attack. This has been described by China and Russia as a super-EMP WMD1. Within the past decade, many experts in nuclear weapons have asserted that North Korea’s primitive technologies are incapable of causing serious devastation. A report released in 2017 by the American EMP Commission revealed that North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missiles could strike regions such as Chicago and Denver.
With the possession of EMP technology, North Korea is now believed to have powerful hydrogen bombs that rival America’s two-stage thermonuclear weapons2. It is also reported that the country has developed miniaturized weapons and reentry vehicles for delivering missiles. This revelation is a clear indication that such weapons are capable of striking the United States and affecting its national security. Some researchers have indicated that it is still impossible to ascertain the level of threat posed by North Korea to the United States2. This is the case since that can have developed and tested superior H-bombs. The EMP Commission’s assertions were confirmed about North Korea tested its first hydrogen bomb successfully. This weapon is, therefore, capable of making a destructive EMP attack3. This powerful thermonuclear weapon can be exploded at high attitudes while at the same time causing extensive destruction.
The current situation can be addressed using an evidence-based foreign policy towards this country. This means that the concept of realism in international matters should be taken seriously than ever before. The strategy will ensure that the government develops and supports adequate programs to safeguard its citizens from North Korea’s possible attacks3. Powerful missile defense systems should also be developed to protect every Americans citizen from this country’s WMDs.
The above discussion has revealed that North Korea has a nuclear program supported by its secretive political strategies and leadership structures. Additionally, its strong ties and positive political relationship with Russia have led to the production of superior nuclear weapons and hydrogen bombs. Every initiative put in place to prevent North Korea’s dictator from producing nuclear weapons has not been fruitful. North Korea’s threat to the national security of the United States is, therefore, due to its leadership, political dynamics, and military capabilities. The use of evidence-based foreign policy towards this country is a strategy that can mitigate these threats.
Andrew S. Millard and Chae-Deug Yi, “The EU’s Potential Role in the Six Party Talks and the North Korean Nuclear Crisis,” Baltic Journal of European Studies 7, no. 2 (2017): 247-283.
Ashley A. Hess, “Why Does North Korea Engage in Provocations?,” Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs 5, no. 1 (2018): 57-83.
Terence Roehrig, “North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, and the Stability-Instability Paradox,” The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis 28, no. 2 (2016): 181-198.