As tensions continue to escalate with China and North Korea, the United States enters a new age of nuclear power. This “second nuclear era” is marked by a renewed emphasis on nuclear deterrence, since both China and North Korea have displayed new weapons that might possibly overpower the United States. Patrick Cronin, Asia-Pacific security chair at the Hudson Institute, said to the Daily Caller News Foundation that the “biggest threat” is that one or both states may feel empowered to change the postwar order and risk starting a nuclear war.
Graphic of Chinese Type 052 destroyer. Xiandai Jianchuan-China, 12.22. Am familiar with most of these weapons, but first time I'm seeing YJ-21E. This is the PLA Navy's hypersonic (mach 10) ship-to-ship missile — a "great leap" in capability and a weapon that USN lacks. pic.twitter.com/XQ8nZy1Iwp
— Lyle Goldstein (@lylegoldstein) February 13, 2023
According to a tracker from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, of the two countries, North Korea has been the most erratic, conducting ballistic missile tests in 2022 at a pace that was more than twice as high as the year before. In its annual Wednesday night parade, North Korea showcased at least 11 of its most modern Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missiles, which could perhaps fire enough missiles at once to overwhelm the 44 ground-based missile interceptors of the United States.
U.S. officials have undertaken arms control negotiations with North Korea in an attempt to convince them to give up their nuclear weapons in reaction to these developments. As a result of the failure of these negotiations, the United States is now forced to rely on stockpiling its own nuclear weapons in an effort to fuel and advance a global arms race.
China is also worried about North Korea’s nuclear development and is pursuing a program designed to demonstrate its supremacy to the United States. According to the Department of Defense, China intends to triple its nuclear weapons by 2025 and has created more advanced ground-based ICBM launchers than the United States.
To preserve a credible threat against foreign aggressors the United States launched an unarmed but nuclear-capable Minuteman III on Thursday night from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Congress allocated $25 million in unrequested money to continue research and development on a sea-launched nuclear weapons program. The Biden administration has lobbied for the modernization of the outdated Minuteman III missiles.
The U.S. is now entering a new era of nuclear power that is characterized by a reliance on nuclear deterrence and an escalating arms race between countries. The Biden administration appears to be planning for a continued and even elevated level of nuclear competition among the great powers, which will cost the American people dearly even if there’s no conflict. As tensions continue to rise between the U.S., China, and North Korea, it is important for all countries to remain aware of the potential consequences of nuclear warfare and work together to ensure that these weapons are never used.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Caller