The North Korean regime has threatened the United States with a preemptive nuclear strike.
The threat comes at a time where North Korea appears both concerned about its own future but unwilling to let go of its nuclear weapons program.
In an article published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the regime said that “the iron-willed DPRK’s preemptive nuclear attack against provocateurs is just not hot air.”
Just last month the North Korean regime launched an ICBM missile that left and reentered the earth’s atmosphere, giving proof that the missile could reach the continental United States.
However, the article itself reveals also North Korea’s own weakness, which is an increasing fear of a military conflict.
The state media article goes to great lengths citing statistics of how disastrous a war would be, comparing it to World War II.
In recent months, the North Korean regime has privately and publicly grown increasingly worried about the prospect of a war it is certain to lose.
In a commentary published by KCNA last month, North Korea raised concerns about the increase of U.S. military assets in the region.
The regime talked about the “danger of the U.S. move to send its strategic assets towards the Korean peninsula.”
The communist regime also said that the U.S. strategic assets had gotten increasingly “dangerous in the estimation of its round [sic], size and content.”
Since coming to office in January, President Trump has taken a strong stance against the North Korean regime. He has demanded the complete denuclearization of the regime as the only solution to the crisis.
Under previous administrations, North Korea was able to make deals to its own benefit. In exchange for seemingly pausing its nuclear weapons program, it received financial and material aid. That aid has been used for years to prop up the regime and maintain its power, while leaving millions of North Korean people in poverty and fear.
The increase in North Korea’s threats could point to a strategy on its part to attempt to get a similar deal from the current administration.
That seems highly unlikely, as Trump has indicated he is determined to solve the problem that his predecessors didn’t.
A viable military threat has been a key part of Trump’s strategy in dealing with North Korea. Trump has demanded the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which he hopes to achieve through talks with the regime.
This includes the deployment of more military assets to the region, such as F-35 fighter jets to Japan. In recent months, the U.S. also increased its naval presence in the region, deploying at its peak three U.S. Aircraft carriers and their strike groups. The U.S. has also deployed several nuclear powered submarines in the region.
Trump has used the threat coming from North Korea as an example for the need to increase military spending and improve the military that has been lagging behind for years as a result of budget cuts. Last week, Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which, if funded by Congress, would increase military spending in 2018 to almost $700 billion.
The bill includes an overall increase in spending on the military and the acquisition of new defense equipment. Among the budgeted expenses are F-35 Joint Strike fighters, ground combat vehicles, and Virginia-class submarines.
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