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Hot Button: Could North Korean Missles Reach the East Coast?

Lilly Mathieu, Staff Writer

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It is only 6,602 miles, the stretch from the North Korean coast to the city of Boston, Massachusetts. 6,602 miles is approximately 100 miles greater than the North Korean ballistic missile’s maximum range. Teachers and students of Barnstable High School have acknowledged the potential of North Korea inventing a more sophisticated missile with the capability of reaching Boston.

Senior Trey Wellbeloved said that even if a North Korean missile is capable of reaching Boston, “other cities with larger populations, such as New York and Los Angeles, are more likely to be a target.” History and economics teacher, Brent Jansen claimed that despite North Korea’s capabilities, it is the West Coast that is most vulnerable. Reaching eastern regions of the United States would be a more challenging feat.

The validity of North Korea’s threats to the United States remain inconclusive. As tensions between North Korea and the United States escalate, U.S. citizens continue to question whether North Korea will turn their threats into actions.

According to a New York Times article, the Korea Asia-Pacific peace committee, which oversees North Korea’s relations with the outside world, stated at a U.N. convention on Sept. 3 that the United States should “be beaten to death as a stick is fit for a rabid dog.” The spokesperson also continued in saying, “Let’s reduce the U.S. mainland into ashes and darkness.” These threats, may appear to exaggerate North Korea’s capabilities, however, a project of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies has shown otherwise. It was predicted that North Korea’s nuclear bomb is eight times more powerful than “Little Boy”, the nuclear bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945, killing 75,000.

Knowing the potency of North Korea’s nuclear bomb and the devastation it could cause in the U.S., Pres. Donald Trump tweeted on Sept. 3, warning citizens, “North Korea has conducted a major nuclear test. Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States.” In attempt to halt any violent actions from North Korea, Pres. Trump then threatened, “The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.” It is still in question whether this recent economic decision by the United States will prevent a North Korean attack on the U.S. mainland.

With regard to the actions taken by Pres. Trump, Jansen believes that Trump’s use of “dangerous phrases” on social media has “increased tension and the possibility of a nuclear attack.” Jansen also said that the United States’ diplomacy has not used the proper channels necessary to deter the threat of North Korea.

If the United States’ diplomacy has not already taken effective actions to avert North Korean threats, what is the correct channel to hinder the possibility of a nuclear war? Is the appropriate action attacking North Korea before they have the opportunity to attack us? Wellbeloved sees this as a solution, however Jansen views this a very dangerous pathway for the United States to take. Trump’s tweet on Oct. 1 in reference to Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of North Korea,  revealed that this may be the way the United States combats this international issue. “Being nice to Rocket Man hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed.” I won’t fail,” Trump wrote. Only time will tell us which pathway the United States will choose, and if it was the right one for the security and stability of our nation.

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Hot Button: Could North Korean Missles Reach the East Coast?