• Zach Bernabe

North Korea Threatens US Ship, China Steps in

On Sunday, April 23, 2017, North Korea stated they were "ready to sink" the US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson that is expected to be on the Korean peninsula "within days," according to BBC. The statement was released in the official newspaper of the ruling North Korean Communist party.

The next day, China's president, Xi Jinping, spoke with President Trump by phone and encouraged him to remain calm and "show restraint" in regards to North Korea, which appears to be possibly getting ready for more nuclear tests, according to the New York Times.

China has connections to both North Korea and the United States and is trying to remain neutral to a certain degree, but it has also recently "recently increased pressure on North Korea." What the Chinese government does not want is "outright military conflict" between the United States and North Korea.

With the recent threats to the US military, some may wonder what types of weapons, including nuclear missiles, North Korea has currently, and how far they could reach if a conflict with the US was to occur.

According to the BBC, North Korea's most advanced operational missile at the moment is the Musadan, which can fly 3,200 to 4,000 kilometers. However, two ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) are also being developed which could reach the United States.

Americans probably shouldn't worry about nuclear attacks anytime soon, but according to "Siegfried S Hecker of Stanford University, a highly authoritative voice on North Korea's weapons' development" if North Korea is allowed to continue researching and developing its nuclear technology for five to ten more years, these threats could become more likely.