While North Korea’s recent claim of an imminent intercontinental ballistic missile test is spreading alarm globally, U.S. experts see it as a bid for attention and a gambit to intimidate the incoming U.S. administration.
On Sunday, the North’s state-run news agency, KCNA, reported that the country can fire off an ICBM “anytime and anywhere,” reiterating the position that the communist state is bolstering nuclear arms capabilities for “self-defense” against the U.S.
The announcement was met with sharp criticism from the U.S. State Department, which said the U.S. military retains substantial capability to defend the U.S. and its allies, and it is “prepared to use that capability when necessary.”
“I think it’s just a statement of fact that we can launch it anytime rather than a threat of imminent activity,” said Bruce Klinger, senior research fellow for Northeast Asia at The Heritage Foundation’s Asia Studies Center.
Pressure against Trump
Klinger, who spent almost two decades in the U.S. intelligence community, said the latest saber rattling from Pyongyang appears to be an attempt to push President-elect Donald Trump and his national security team, whose policy toward North Korea still remains under wraps, to comply with its own terms.Read More