Over the weekend, North Korea unveiled a new weapon. It is small, maybe small enough to fit in the nose cone of a missile. It is powerful, detonating with the force of possibly 140 kilotons, or almost 10 times the destructive power as “Little Boy,” the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. This thermonuclear warhead is shiny, bare metal like the naked skins of the early jets that first fought in the skies above Korea almost 67 years ago.
At about 6am on local time Tuesday morning, Japan's government issued a warning to its citizens that a missile was headed their way. That missile, fired from North Korea, crashed into the Pacific Ocean 575 miles east of Japan just 14 minutes after launch. This test was the third time that North Korea's ever successfully launched an object over Japan, and the first time that the object in question was explicitly a missile.
Last week, China's dominant fighting vehicle manufacturer, China North Industries Corporation (Norinco), displayed a bevy of export armored vehicles as part of its Armor Day celebrations. These festivities, now in their second year, laud the power of Chinese military and offer an occasion to show off to senior foreign military officers, who were likely there as potential buyers.
You know that thing where Australians don't want nuclear reactors built in our own backyard? Yeah, China doesn't have that. It's well on its way to becoming a world leader in nuclear power; its 37 reactors are already producing 32.4 gigawatts of electricity, and more than 20 more reactors are currently under construction
On October 9, 2006, North Korea conducted its first nuclear test. Since then, the nation has tested nuclear devices four more times, most recently in September 2016. Running parallel and complementary to the nuclear program is a missile program that, twice in July, tested ICBMs with a range that can likely reach most of the continental United States. Earlier this week, a report from the Defense Intelligence Agency estimated that North Korea has miniaturized a nuclear warhead, making it small enough to fit on a missile.