Amidst escalating tensions, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has signaled an assertive stance on nuclear capabilities, highlighting the country’s readiness to resort to nuclear arms if provoked. Kim’s statements, in a recent missile test, underscore the regime’s intent to operationalize its nuclear forces, raising concerns among global observers.
The dynamics surrounding North Korea’s potential use of nuclear weapons have unfolded against a backdrop of ambiguous doctrines and legislative changes. These maneuvers, analysts note, outline a potentially destabilizing strategy.
Here’s an insight into North Korea’s outlined scenarios for using its nuclear arsenal and where it could potentially direct its force.
North Korea positions its nuclear armaments as a means of self-defense against perceived threats from the United States, South Korea, and Japan. The country enshrined the right to use preemptive nuclear strikes to safeguard its interests, especially in the face of imminent nuclear threats or existential risks. Under the law, Kim holds decisive authority over nuclear weapons, allowing for automatic launch if the command system faces threats.
However, analysts warn that delegation of launch authority during crises might heighten the risk of catastrophic misinterpretation. Notably, a recent constitutional amendment solidified North Korea’s nuclear policy, accelerating nuclear weapons production to deter alleged US provocations.
In past statements, North Korea had threatened nuclear strikes on the US and Japan, primarily in response to perceived hostile actions. Kim Yo Jong, sister of Kim Jong Un, articulated a scenario where North Korea would mobilize its nuclear forces in response to South Korean attacks, aiming to diminish enemy resolve and protect its military might.
While North Korea hasn’t conducted nuclear tests since 2017, analysts estimate its nuclear stockpile to range between 31 to 96 weapons. The regime has emphasized the miniaturization and expansion of its nuclear arsenal, actively developing various missile systems to deliver nuclear payloads.
Recent descriptions of missile launches indicate the readiness to deploy long-range missiles, heightening global concerns over North Korea’s expanding nuclear capabilities.
As the geopolitical landscape remains tense, analysts anticipate North Korea to continue bolstering its nuclear posture through advancements in missile technology and weapon development.
Sources By Agencies