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When I was born three nations had nuclear weapons: The United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union. By the time I graduated from high school, that group of three had grown to only five, with the addition of France and the People’s Republic of China. Since that time only four more nations have been added to that list, India, Pakistan, North Korea and (despite on-going denials) Israel. Currently, through the NATO nuclear weapons sharing program, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey have U.S. nukes in their possession. None of these five countries however has the capability to build their own atomic weapons.
Building an atomic bomb is not easy. In fact, it’s beyond really hard. Most people think that is preferable. Very preferable. Except there are, of course, those who want one so bad, those meaning in this case, a country, they will go to any length to manufacture their own.
For years, we have worried about North Korea and its psychotic leadership, first in what appears to be a case of intra-genocide by starvation of the entire nation, with the notable exception of those in power, to spare no expense to build their nuke, and second, now they have it, the fact they only need to toss it over the DMZ and a substantial percentage of the South Korean population is annihilated.
To date, they have been contained, probably due to the North Korean autocrats needing to keep enough of the citizenry alive so as to provide the labor for their military and their personal extravagances, so the only bargaining chip they have with the world is to not act on their sabre-rattling rhetoric to procure enough essential supplies of food and oil to maintain their horrendous status quo. It also is relevant that another source of their restraint, to date, is having the Great Chinese Fire Dragon on their northern border that could annihilate the entire country with their nuclear arsenal should the Kim boys misstep.
Actually, the Chinese know they wouldn’t even have to use any of their nuclear weapons. Simply amassing a few million Red Army soldiers on the line between the two countries would send a message even the highly deluded Despot in Pyongyang would understand. Well, maybe.
Here’s my question: For how much longer will the United States be the only nation ever to use a nuclear weapon in an act of war continue? Read More…