North Korea claimed Saturday that it had successfully tested an engine designed for an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) that would "guarantee" an eventual nuclear strike on the US mainland. When most countries successfully test new weapons systems they don’t usually immediately guarantee that those systems will be used against other nations. In fact, for civilized nations, the hope is their very existence will make it unnecessary for them ever to be used. The concept is called deterrence, and it has worked well for millenia. A government so reckless, bellicose and belligerent as to repeatedly threaten to use nuclear weapons even while not at war, simply shows itself to be craven, desperate and comprised of madmen.
This was only the latest in a series of claims by Pyongang of significant breakthroughs in its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Some outside experts, believing that the North Korean leadership is attempting to talk up its achievements ahead of a showcase ruling party congress next month, have treated a number of these claims with skepticism.
According to the North's “official” KCNA news agency, this latest ground engine test was ordered and personally monitored by leader Kim Jong-Un. As soon as Kim flagged off the test, "the engine spewed out huge flames with deafening boom", KCNA said."The great success... provided a firm guarantee for mounting another form of nuclear attack upon the US imperialists and other hostile forces," Kim was quoted as saying. Now North Korea "can tip new type inter-continental ballistic rockets with more powerful nuclear warheads and keep any cesspool of evils in the earth including the US mainland within our striking range", he added.
While the Hermit Kingdom, under Jong-Un’s sparkling leadership, may be making strides in its weaponry, it- and the Dear Leader himself- have a long way to go in terms of credible usage of the English language. If your goal is to intimidate any given “cesspool of evil in the earth” with your military prowess, it is likely best if you can communicate that threat without making your would-be enemy giggle at your semantics.
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