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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Report: North Korea Could Kill Over 3 Million in Nuclear Strike





Report: North Korea Could Kill Over 3 Million in Nuclear Strike


Pentagon officials have long warned about the human cost of a war in the Korean peninsula, but a new report details the different scenarios and related damage of a North Korean nuclear strike on its neighbors Japan and South Korea.

An analysis published on the website for the North Korea monitoring group 38 North, a project of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, calculates the amount of casualties that would result from a nuclear attack, taking into account North Korea’s estimated capabilities.

The report's author, Michael J. Zagurek Jr., an independent consultant specializing in database management systems, ran a series of scenarios based on the assumption that North Korea has 25 operational nuclear weapons with a warhead yield ranging from 15 kilotons (the same yield as the atomic bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima) to 250 kilotons (the estimated strength of the nuclear device tested on September 3).

According to the report, the number of casualties caused would depend on the detonation reliability of the North Korean missile warhead.

“Multiple nuclear weapon detonations on both Seoul and Tokyo based on the current North Korea yield estimates could result in anywhere from 400,000 to 2 million deaths,” Zagurek wrote, adding, “with possible thermonuclear yields with the same number of weapons, the number of deaths could range between 1.3 and 3.8 million.”

The possibility of North Korea actually initiating an attack remains remote, as the goal of the regime appears to be self-preservation rather than world domination. But the credibility of Pyongyang’s nuclear threat is a key factor in understanding how to deal with the so-called rogue nation diplomatically and economically.

Multiple articles in the state-controlled North Korean media have said that the need to develop nuclear weapons came from the threat of U.S. aggression and the desire to acquire a greater stance on the world stage.

The top U.S. military commander deployed in South Korea agrees North Korea seeks a nuclear deterrent to increase its international influence.

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