North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country is nearing its goal of “equilibrium” in military force with the United States, as the United Nations Security Council strongly condemned the North’s “highly provocative” ballistic missile launch over Japan on Friday.
The increasingly frequent and aggressive tests have added to outside fears that the North is closer than ever to building a military arsenal that could viably target the US and its allies in Asia.
Kim said the country’s final goal “is to establish the equilibrium of real force with the US and make the US rulers dare not talk about military option for the DPRK,” referring to North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
With each passing day and each new ICBM launch from a seemingly unhinged North Korean dictator, the fears of an attack on the U.S. mainland, though faint, increasingly weigh on the hearts and minds of Americans, particularly those in California. As The Guardian points out today, those fears have even prompted a group of California public health officials and emergency responders to gather for a strategy session with Hal Kempfer, a retired marine lieutenant colonel, to discuss which areas are the most likely targets and how citizens should respond to an attack.
At the same time, Kim warned that "the war could break out if there is miscalculation and deception" about his adversary's intentions.
"If North Korea launches an attack either against South Korea or the United States, these countries will have no other option but to retaliate," he added.
According to him, "the United States would not launch a preventive attack against North Korea because, if you like it or not, Pyongyang has enough military capability to deter a US first strike."
US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, for his part, told reporters that any threats to the United States or its allies would be met with a massive, "effective and overwhelming" military response.