The physical reverberations from North Korea’s third nuclear test took just minutes to die down. But the political, psychological, and strategic consequences will be felt for years to come. The North Korean government has claimed that this test—which appears to have produced a higher yield than the first two—was of a “smaller and light” weapon. The implied threat is that North Korea can now mount a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile.
The test’s psychological aftershocks will, therefore, be felt strongly in Japan and South Korea, which are within range of North Korea’s existing missiles. But they will also be felt keenly in America, given that Pyongyang demonstrated real progress toward developing a ballistic missile capable of reaching the continental United States with its recent satellite launch.
For more on this story, visit: Focus on Nonproliferation—Not Disarmament—in North Korea – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.