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Tussle between America & North Korea is akin to Cuban Missile Crisis – is the world in danger of being nuked?
Recently, the war of words between the United States and North Korea reached a high point with both countries indulging in threatening and counter threatening.

USA's initiated United Nations sanctions against North Korea have resulted in the latter suffering revenue losses (nearly 1 billion US dollars per year) through its exports. North Korea considers it as an attack on its sovereignty. Responding to the 'fire and fury' threats of Donald Trump, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has threatened to attack Guam Island, a US territory in the Pacific Ocean where Andersen Air Force base is situated.

In fact, according to General Kim Rak-gyom, the Commander of North Korea's Strategic Rocket Forces, North Korea is finalising the Guam plan by August, to be submitted to Kim Jong-un for approval. According to this plan, North Korea will fire an ICBM (Inter Continental Ballistic Missile) towards Guam. The missile with a flight time of 17 minutes and forty five seconds will travel around 3357 kilometres and land 30 to 40 kilometres away from Guam, just outside American territorial waters. By doing this, North Korea will send  a message across to USA that it shouldn't take North Korea lightly as it can retaliate catastrophically against America. Experts believe that North Korea has the capability to deliver such plans. Some experts even believe that the missiles tested in July this year by the communist nation can also reach New York, in mainland America.

The dilemma of the United States can be well understood. If it doesn't intercept this missile mid-air, the world will lose faith in America's defence capabilities, especially its missile defence system. Many in USA have also started thinking that any further provocation of North Korea would be damaging to America. Some have even gone to the extent of calling it as a mini Cuban Missile Crisis.

For those unaware about the Cuban Missile Crisis, let me explain it very briefly. Post the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, a communist, took over the reins of Cuba in 1959. John F Kennedy, who was the newly elected President of America, did not want a communist government too close to American shores. Thus, the CIA hatched a plan to overthrow Castro with the help of 1400 Cuban exiles in 1961 known as Bay of Pigs invasion. The Bay of Pigs invasion failed due to poor planning as Fidel Castro enjoyed popular support in Cuba which was never expected by the Americans. This failure left the Kennedy administration embarrassed (although America never officially accepted to be behind the BoP invasion). Post the failure of BoP invasion, Fidel Castro openly declared himself as communist and established cordial ties with USSR.

In 1962, USSR placed intermediate range missiles in Cuba as defence to further US-led invasions. In fact, USSR's deployment of missiles in Cuba was in response to America's deployment of missiles in Italy and Turkey in 1961, aiming towards Moscow. This melee is known as the 'Cuban Missile Crisis' which lasted for 13 days (October 16-28, 1962). A lot of negotiations ensued through open and back channels to resolve the issue. Finally, USA officially declared that neither it would ever invade Cuba nor it will help any other country in invading Cuba. Unofficially, it also withdrew missiles from Italy and Turkey. Later, USSR also withdrew the missiles from Cuba. Technically, it was a defeat for America. Cuba, a tiny nation situated at close proximity to the United States survived without any problem owing to the 'Cuban Missile Crisis'. In fact, missile deployment by USSR worked as a deterrent for the crisis to swell up any further.

At this moment too, it appears that nuclear capability and ICBM missiles of North Korea will work as deterrent against any American misadventure. The Trump administration has to resolve this diplomatically because North Korea can inflict irreparable damage to USA despite being no match to America's might.

Although it is good that nuclear weapons act as deterrents against war, but the disadvantage is that every non-nuclear country will try to achieve nuclear technology considering it as prime national security requirement. There could be a competition on this. Whatever anti-nuclear proliferation mechanism is enforced, technology can't be stopped as it's an evolutionary development. There would come a time when all countries will have nuclear weapons.

Another problem is that even terrorist organisations could get their hands on nuclear weapons. The rocket launcher, IED and many other sophisticated technologies are already with such terrorist organisations. It's not difficult to imagine that after 30-40 years terrorist organisations could possess nuclear technology. Just imagine, what will happen? There is remote possibility of mankind being wiped off the Earth.

The present tussle between North Korea and the United States would be resolved most likely through dialogue. But the responsibility of the advanced and developed nations is to find out better methods to save the Earth from nuclear catastrophe in the coming years. It's more important than tackling global warming.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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