North Korea’s military is highly outmatched by that of the U.S., explains Jules Suzdaltsev of Test Tube News. He claims that North Korea’s only real threat to the U.S. is its nuclear bombs, of which it only has ten, compared to America’s arsenal of over 7,000. Furthermore, its nuclear program has yet to build a long-range missile that can deliver a nuclear warhead, points out Suzdaltsev. Even if they were to attempt this, the U.S.’s antimissile defense system can halt missiles mid-flight. Suzdaltsev speculates that while North Korea continues to make verbal threats, it will not attack the U.S. or its allies, knowing that the odds are stacked against it.
While North Korea can’t yet reach the U.S. with its nuclear bombs, it has built missiles that can effectively target South Korea and Japan, two important U.S. allies, infers Vox. In their view, North Korea’s missile program will allow the country to target the U.S. within the next 10 years. When that will be the case, Vox asserts that the U.S. would be deterred from getting involved if North Korea attacks Japan or South Korea. Knowing this, those two countries would be pressed to start their own nuclear programs in order to be able to defend themselves. This would undermine the region’s and the world's current power balance and stability, asserts Vox.