Is North Korea's Nuclear Weapon Really That Powerful?

It seems North Korea is all over the news again, but this time, the President of the United States is included. Apparently, the two countries are involved in what appears to be a nuclear face-off. As powerful as it may sound, no one obviously wants to be part of this feud. We’re talking about the possibility of losing millions of lives here.

Whenever nuclear topic surfaces, more often than not, North Korea gets involved. However, Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear threat isn’t actually that powerful. Or at least, people shouldn’t really be worried about it. Why is that so?

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Images via Wikimedia Commons

According to IFLScience, the real threat comes from the artillery and/or conventional missiles. And believe it or not, these are well-placed all over the Korean Peninsula. In fact, they are scattered so well that even the forces of US and South Korea combined are not enough to pinpoint the locations.

But of course, it’s dumb to take North Korea’s nuclear power for granted. While there have been failures from its side, it’s still growing day by day. The country’s capability to wage nuclear war is definitely legit.

History of North Korea’s Nukes

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Image via IFLScience

Since time immemorial, the secretive state led by Kim Jong-Un has already detonated a total of five nuclear warheads. The most recent one was back in September last year in which a seismic event of 5.3 to 5.6M was recorded. And it’s a worldwide phenomenon, so to speak. Interestingly, seismic waves are, in one way or another, the most effective means in determining a nuclear test (if whether or not it happened).

Apparently, the seismic wave patterns generated by the nuclear weapons are different from that of a normal earthquake. Not even a volcanic eruption can level it. Anyway, these waves allow scientists to determine the distinctive power of a nuclear weapon – let alone the warhead that is used.

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Image via IFLScience


Based on the findings, it appears that North Korea is – despite technological advancement – still using the classic plutonium formula. The latter is basically used to develop a nuclear weapon in an implosion style. If a hydrogen bomb is capable of 7.0M quake, the country, on the other hand, has failed to come up with a weapon that can at least reach 6.0M.

Simply put, North Korea’s nuclear weapons are far from what people perceived them to be. It’s still relatively weak.


A Milestone was reached

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Image via Wikimedia Commons


In a report from Washington Post (via an anonymous US intelligence officers), North Korea is said to have miniaturized their weapons. They are even capable of mounting these weapons on their warheads. This is a huge progress, as nukes that can be launched using missiles is pretty scary. The report even suggests that it now owns around 20 to 60 small nuclear warheads.

But as far as how effective North Korea’s missiles are, this remains to be a mystery. Remember that so far, the secretive nation has often failed than succeeded. The missiles either detonate when still on a launch pad or land on bodies of water (like the one in the Sea of Japan).

So what now?

Just because North Korea needs some serious upgrades does not mean that they are not capable of waging war. At the end of day, lives can still be at risk. Also, the country already has nuclear weapons, and it is perhaps a matter of time before they get into the finish line. Heck, just the thought of nuclear weapon being launched is already scary.

My name is Alvin, a twenty-something guy. I love writing articles about video games and trending stories. Take a minute to follow me on social media.