North Korea's first successful rocket launch is a truly dangerous development. Although the North Koreans have previously detonated two nuclear devices, until now they have not demonstrated any ability to deliver them. Weaponizing a missile is hard, but Pyongyang's close ally Iran has made great advances in miniaturizing warheads. With the combination of North Korea's nuclear bombs and Iran's technology, a nuclear-tipped missile could be capable of striking the West Coast of the United States in the near future. We can no longer afford to ignore North Korea.
The article covered the Wilson Center Asia Program event "Knowing the North: Intelligence and Intentions of the DPRK" from September 8, 2010.
NKIDP Briefing Books are compilations of documents from U.S., South Korea, North Korean, Chinese, and former communist bloc archives and are assembled for Critical Oral History Conferences.