- The DPRK has successfully tested fission devices.
- The DPRK claims to have fusion devices working, though blast yield (seismic activity levels, I think) bring that claim into question.
- The DPRK claims to have achieved miniaturization for fitting devices onto missiles, or the Washington Post published anonymous intelligence sources that they have determined that DPRK has achieved this capability.
- The DPRK has now tested first strike capable solid fuel boosters from their track mounted carriers (12 Feb 17).
- Recent ICBM test launches have demonstrated that the DPRK rockets can target US territories and mainland population centers. They either will or do have the entire USA within range of their nuclear threat.
- The DPRK has successfully tested SLBM capability, helping to bring every coastal city in the USA within range of those platforms.
The DPRK's co-development activities with Iran is an irritant that makes their capability all the more dangerous. If I were sitting in Israel, I would assume that all of the attributes of the DPRK system are present in Iran.
Several countries already have passed all of these steps and are well known as adversaries (threats) to the USA, including Russia and China. And the USA is positioned the same way against them. What is the difference?
- All of those countries have societies and infrastructures that I believe they value. They have something to lose. In the words of Sting, "Do the Russians love their children, too".
- All of those countries have leadership that appears to both be stable and acting within the bounds of reason and under some control of a larger governmental body.
- All of those countries are currently NOT in a state of war with the USA and its allies.
None of these mitigating factors apply to the DPRK. Their hereditary leader has stated that he is ready, willing, and able to conduct a first strike on the USA. The evidence of the reality of these threats and threats seems unequivocal.
The DPRK continues to assassinate people around the world, and continue to run internal purges (murders). They lack respect for human life and for international norms of behavior. Essentially we are under the gun of a mad man.
The strike has to destroy both the political leadership in the DPRK and all of the DPRK's army elements capable of retaliation. So the strike has to be massive. It has to destroy not only the ICBM retaliation capability, but the ability to strike South Korea in retaliation. And it might need to be followed by a land invasion to prevent a massive conventional response. Though I doubt the remaining elements of the DPRK army will want to counter attack after the massive strike.
The THAAD system is operational in South Korea. Taking out 100% of the DPRK's missile capacity seems improbable so this will provide some relief for the poor people in ROK.
The situation is untenable. Since I value all US cities and lives above those of any in the DPRK, this is the time to act?