MPs Think North Korea Could Nuke Us by 2020

By Gary Cutlack on at

Worrisome thinking by a cross-party group of MPs working as a Defence Committee has warned that we could be in range of a nuclear strike by North Korea within 18 months, although they think we'll probably be OK as the regime doesn't deem us much of a threat. Which is yet another pretty decent metaphor for the current state of the nation.

The House of Commons Defence Committee report on North Korea [PDF] and the likely state of its inter-continental ballistic missile fleet says that if it doesn't already have the ability to strike at us -- or at least get somewhere near us -- it almost certainly will within the next year and a half, with the conclusion warning that: "With its current rate of development, it is possible that North Korea can already strike the United Kingdom with an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), potentially able to carry and deliver a nuclear warhead. Within the next six to 18 months, it is almost certain to be able to achieve this capability."

They don't think Kim Jong-un is likely to press his small red button, though, as the committee, in a quite frank discussion about the possibility of nuclear armageddon, adds: "It will be obvious to Kim Jong-un that initiating a nuclear exchange is bound to lead to North Korea’s annihilation: the polar opposite of his objective of regime survival. We consider that Kim Jong-un, though undoubtedly ruthless, is nevertheless rational." [Parliament [PDF] via Guardian]