Following Tuesday’s missile test, North Korea has declared itself a full nuclear power, saying they have the ability to deliver a “super-large heavy warhead” anywhere within the mainland United States now.
The declaration is presented by some US officials as just grandstanding, but it might also portend a shift in North Korea’s strategy, and open up the possibility of real negotiations with the United States.
After all, North Korea has been very open about its goals in developing missiles and nuclear weapons being a deterrent force to prevent US attacks on them. This latest missile test may have been the culmination of that.
Analysts note that while there are still questions about North Korea’s missiles, the fact that they could plausibly fire a nuclear weapon at New York City at this point, even if it’s not with 100% certainty, should be enough to deter a US first strike.
North Korea has long believed that negotiation could only take place once the US was no longer able to hold the threat of attacking over their head