North Korea apparently “successfully” detonated a hydrogen bomb in early January 2016. Then the country launched a long range rocket in February. Now, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is threatening nuclear strikes on the United States.
Making good on such a threat could cause World War III, but is the threat a credible one? “Not so fast.”
The United States deployed several fighter jets and a B-52 bomber over South Korea “meant as a show of force.” The United Nations Security Council is condemning the threat. Recently, the U.N. also imposed new sanctions that ban the import of firearms and aviation fuel within North Korea, and the export of coal. U.N. ambassador Samantha Power called these “the most comprehensive sanctions resolution we’ve seen at the U.N. in more than two decades.” These sanctions were likely what led North Korea to make these nuclear threats.
As a result, people think that this is North Korea just trying to save face in the wake of these sanctions. “Given that the nuclear threat came in response to U.N. Security Council sanctions, it’s probably aimed mostly in response to that, both as a message to North Korea’s enemies and to reassure its citizenry,” says Vox’s Max Fisher.
Sound reassuring to everyone else?