Kim Jong-Un (KRT via AP Video)

North Korea could reach the United States with a nuclear weapon

How will American leadership handle the news that North Korea could nuke the U.S.? Really, really well


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Jeremy Binckes
November 29, 2017 1:51pm (UTC)

On Tuesday, North Korea launched one of its most powerful missiles yet — one that experts say could reach the United States mainland. This would be a good time to say that the American people should put faith in their elected leaders to find a peaceful solution and avoid nuclear catastrophe, but let's be real here.

As the Associated Press noted, the launch of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, which has the longest range of any missile North Korea has tested so far, was "a clear message of defiance aimed at the Trump administration." Specifically, it reflected North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's anger over the country's renewed listing by the U.S. as a sponsor of state terrorism.

In response to the missile launch, President Donald Trump said the U.S. would "take care of it," adding, "It is a situation we will handle."

Trump's declaration may anger America's ally in South Korea, which has "repeatedly declared the U.S. cannot attack the North without Seoul’s approval," according to the AP.

On Wednesday, Trump had bigger fish to fry. In an early morning tweetstorm, he took credit for the American economy, went on diatribes against CNN and Matt Lauer, and retweeted right-wing anti-Muslim propaganda.

That last round of retweets earned a rebuke from Piers Morgan, of all people, who slammed the videos coming from people in the U.K. who have repeatedly been called extremists.

There is a sign that hope may be on the horizon — even without American leadership. According to the AP, the launch might actually be an end point for North Korea, rather than a beginning. A scenario exists by which North Korea could "announce that since it now considers itself a nuclear power equal to the United States, it can put more effort into Kim’s other priority of trying to fix one of the world’s worst economies."


Jeremy Binckes

Jeremy Binckes is the senior news editor at Salon.com.

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