Does the brutal, provocative and nuclear-armed North Korean regime actually pose a threat to the United States?

In recent weeks, Pyongyang has increased the seriousness of its threats to include preemptively attacking with nuclear weapons both the United States and South Korea during the allies’ annual joint military exercises. This comes on the heels of North Korea’s fourth underground nuclear explosion and yet another long-range missile test in the form of a satellite launch.

Perhaps its most concerning missile is the mobile KN-08, which Admiral William Gortney, the commander of Northern Command, recently testified before Congress could deliver a nuclear weapon to much of the continental United States.

Although the regime leader is in the habit of making empty threats, the United States cannot afford to bank on the hope Kim Jong-un is crying wolf.

Continue reading at The Washington Times.

Rebeccah Heinrichs is a contributing editor for Providence and a fellow at the Hudson Institute, where she provides research and commentary on a range of security issues and specializes in deterrence and counter-proliferation. You can follow Rebeccah on Twitter at @RLHeinrichs.

Photo Credit: North Korean flags flying with Kim Il-Sung Socialist Youth League flags. Photo by (stephan) via Flickr.