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Tags: afghanistan | denuclearize

Threat of NKorea Nuke Test Highlights Biden's Incompetence

south korean and us forces hold joint training in response to nkorea

Photo by the SKorean Defense Ministry. A missile is fired during a US and SKorea training exercise to fire a ground-to-ground missile - May 25, 2022 - in E. Coast, SKorea. NKorea fired 3 ballistic missiles toward the East Sea, including an apparent ICBM, SKorea's military said. This, after U.S. President Joe Biden wrapped up his Asia trip.  (South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images)

Fred Fleitz By Friday, 28 October 2022 11:37 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Experts are Worried About a Nuclear Test by NKorea Before Election Day

There are increasing signs that North Korea could conduct a seventh underground nuclear test just before the U.S. midterm elections on Nov. 8.

This would be the first North Korean nuclear test since 2017; it would also serve as a clear sign a sign of just how the Biden administration has badly mismanaged relations with North Korea as well as other global powers.

The South Korean government expects a North Korean nuclear test "at any time" and is on a 24-hour standby. South Korean intelligence has said a North Korean nuclear test could occur between Oct. 16 and Nov. 7, 2022.

According to CNN, Biden administration officials are concerned that North Korea may be preparing to conduct a nuclear test but lacks hard intelligence to determine this.

Experts believe North Korea might test a miniaturized nuclear warhead designed to be a low-yield tactical nuclear weapon that would fit inside a cruise missile.

North Korea claimed to test two cruise missiles on Oct. 12 as an exercise for launching tactical nuclear weapons.

In response to President Trump’s aggressive "Maximum Pressure" strategy and personal diplomacy with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests in 2017.

President Trump met with Kim three times.

During these encounters, the North Korean leader promised to "denuclearize."

Although the Trump administration could not convince North Korea to implement this promise, President Trump’s North Korea policy significantly lowered tensions with North Korea.

Beginning in the fall of 2021, North Korea ended self-imposed limits on its missile program when it tested three short-range missiles, a submarine-launched ballistic missile, a long-range cruise missile, and a possible hypersonic missile.

North Korea increased missile testing further in 2022 and appeared to begin preparations for a nuclear test. It has test-launched approximately 50 missiles this year as of Oct. 28, 2022, including at least two ICBMs, and fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan.

In March 2022, North Korea began excavation to regain access to its underground nuclear test site. This excavation appeared to be completed by mid-2022.

After pausing its rhetorical threats to attack the United States and South Korea with nuclear weapons in 2018, the angry talk resumed in 2022.

This included an Oct. 9 claim that launches of two short-range ballistic missiles were practice tests for "tactical nuclear strikes" on South Korea to "hit and wipe out" enemies.

North Korea’s rubber-stamp parliament passed a law on Sept. 9, 2022 raising new concerns about the country’s nuclear doctrine and appeared to reverse Kim Jong Un’s commitments to President Trump to end his nuclear weapons program.

The new law declares North Korea a nuclear weapons state.

In an address to the parliament, Kim said that the law stipulates this is "irreversible" and that there will be no more negotiations on denuclearization.

The law also reads that North Korea could use nuclear weapons preemptively, in response to a non-nuclear attack, and in response to any attempt to remove Kim Jong Un from power.

The timing of the surge in North Korean missile tests and apparent preparations for a seventh nuclear test came just after the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August of 2021 and suggested Pyongyang saw that event as a sign of U.S. weakness and an opportunity to use its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs to blackmail the United States and its allies, to win economic concessions and relief from U.S. and U.N. sanctions.

Pyongyang also likely feels snubbed by Biden.

There is little to the president’s North Korea policy other than renouncing President Trump’s personal diplomacy with Kim Jong Un. Moreover, the current administration has unnecessarily antagonized the North Korean government by refusing to engage it with senior officials and naming a part-time envoy who concurrently serves as U.S. ambassador to Indonesia.

Biden officials have warned North Korea that there will be consequences for a North Korean nuclear test, but it remains unclear what it could do if the North conducts one.

North Korea is already one of the most heavily sanctioned nations globally.

The U.S. attempted to pass a UN Security Council resolution sanctioning North Korea for the surge in its missile tests last May, but Russia and China vetoed that, the first Council resolution on North Korea to be vetoed since 1983.

In light of the failed May Security Council resolution and strained U.S. relations with China and Russia, both will probably block any U.S. resolution in the Security Council sanctioning North Korea for a nuclear test.

Moreover, Moscow and Pyongyang have grown closer in recent months due to North Korean support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and exports of weapons for Russia to use in the Ukraine war.

If North Korea tests a nuclear weapon in the near future, it would be signaling its irritation with the Biden administration and trying to exploit Biden’s weak foreign policy by blackmailing the U.S. for concessions.

This is another reason why strong presidential leadership and national security policies matter – and why weak presidential leadership and policies are so dangerous.

Fred Fleitz is a Newsmax TV Contributor and vice-chair of the America First Policy Institute Center for American Security. He previously served as National Security Council Chief of staff, CIA analyst, and as a member of the House Intelligence Committee staff. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz — Click Here Now.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Fred-Fleitz
If North Korea tests a nuclear weapon in the near future, it would be signaling its irritation with the Biden administration and trying to exploit Biden’s weak foreign policy by blackmailing the U.S. for concessions.
afghanistan, denuclearize
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2022-37-28
Friday, 28 October 2022 11:37 AM
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