Kim Jong Un Claims to Have Literal Nuclear Button 'Always on the Desk of My Office'
At least, that's if you take his word for it.
"The United States can never fight a war against me and our state," Kim told North Koreans in a nationally televised New Year's Eve event, per the
. "It should properly know that the whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike and a
Just as the White House has advised the public to take our own president seriously but not literally , this hypothetical button probably doesn't exist. For one, while most nuclear-armed countries do maintain a fairly direct line of command for their weapons, a button is a simple mechanical switch incapable of conveying complicated things like where the nukes should be launched at. Instead, there's usually some process involving military officials and launch codes, and the button is just a metaphor. (Two, Kim seems to spend much of his time partying, traveling, and out looking at things , not at his desk.)
However, the button is unimportant compared to the meat of Kim's claims: That the North Korean government is past the development phase of its nuclear program and is prepared to mass-produce missiles.
"This year, we should focus on mass-producing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles for operational deployment," Kim added. "These weapons will be used only if our security is threatened."
While North Korea is confirmed to have
As the Post noted, though, Kim seemed to relax somewhat in his rhetoric after touting his much-expanded nuclear capabilities, mentioning the possibility of sending a North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics in Pyeong-chang, South Korea. While an actual improvement in relations between the North and South Korean governments is unlikely, that could be taken as a small hint that now that he has them, Kim is more interested in the weapons' deterrent effect rather than actually starting World War III. Fingers crossed.
[ Washington Post ]