In a slap to the face of Barack Obama, North Korea triggered what will assuredly become a nuclear arms race in Asia. With a madman in charge of a nuclear option, the democracies of the region will be forced to follow suit as an act of deterrence. Japan has already called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
By detonating a working nuclear warhead, North Korea also demonstrated its perfidy and fecklessness in claiming that it had shut down its nuclear program when, in fact, it was working to refine its failed nuclear design which resulted in the first nuclear dud.
Since the North Korean government has now demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that it cannot be trusted to adhere to any agreement, it effectively leaves Japan and South Korea no option but to match or exceed North Korea’s potential stockpile with their own. Those governments cannot depend on the United States under Barack Obama to provide a nuclear shield for them, particularly as he is busy defunding the United States anti ballistic missile systems development.
Japan’s technological base and stockpile of nuclear fuel should enable it to develop an intial weapon in a six month timeframe if they choose to advertise their work. South Korea may take a bit longer, but no more than one year.
The Russians most familiar with the area seem to agree.
What, if anything, will China do now that North Korea has single handedly destroyed its comfortable monopoly on nuclear weapons in Asia?
Iran will now charge ahead full bore on its program so we will undoubtedly see an additional race in the middle east.
Legal Insurrection reminds us that John Bolton was also right on the money in May and got villified by the “surrender” first crowd for it.