No one’s foolish enough to expect Asia’s bad boy — North Korea — to suddenly turn good. But these days, as Pyongyang makes obvious preparations for a fourth nuclear weapons test, it’s turning downright scary.
Are the neighbors, including the United States, ready for it? Experts are concluding: maybe not.
As Dr. Patrick Cronin of the Center for a New American Security writes in a new report, the risks of conflict on the Korean peninsula “have not been this significant since the early 1990s.”
Increased activity at North Korea’s main nuclear site has raised expectations that the communist regime’s fourth nuclear test since 2006 will come in the weeks or months ahead. And it’s likely to show off even more sophisticated technology that puts it closer to a delivery capability within range of South Korea, and eventually farther away.