Are we “running out of time” on North Korea?

Have you noticed a recurring answer coming out in interviews with politicians and Trump administration members lately when the subject of North Korea comes up? Over and over the answer to the seriousness of threats from North Korea is, “We’re running out of time.” I’ve heard that answer several times just this weekend.

Unless you’ve been in a medically induced coma the past year or so, it is clear that the crazy-like-a-fox brutal dictator, Kim Jong-un, in North Korea has a nuclear war with America on his to-do list. After a brief hiatus, another advanced ballistic missile test was launched last Tuesday. North Korea touted it as capable of reaching America’s mainland but it appears to have experienced failure upon re-entry. This is from CNN:

North Korea on Tuesday broke a two-month lull in weapons testing. It launched an advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-15, that state-controlled media described as the “most powerful ICBM” carrying a “super-large heavy warhead” to unprecedented heights of almost 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles).

Technical analysis of the missile flight is ongoing, but the US official said “the North Koreans had problems with re-entry.

President Trump speaks frequently on the threats and spoke of running out of time to leaders during his recent Asia trip. John Bolton, Ambassador to the U.N. during the G.W. Bush administration, used the expression before that.

The fifth annual Reagan National Defense forum was held this weekend and National Security Advisor McMasters spoke of an increasing threat. (Defense News)

While laying out a tease of President Donald Trump’s new National Security Strategy, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the president’s national security advisor, warned that “there’s not much time left” to deal with the threat from North Korea.

McMaster, speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum, identified North Korea as the greatest threat to the United States, adding that it is “increasing every day” and saying North Korean Kim Jong Un is “getting closer and closer” to having a full nuclear deterrent.

During an interview on Sunday’s Face the Nation, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham spoke of moving closer to a military conflict. While war talk is nothing new for Senator Graham, he, too, uttered the opinion that “we’re running out of time.”

We’re getting close to a military conflict because North Korea’s marching toward marrying up the technology of an I.C.B.M. with a nuclear weapon on top that cannot only get to America but deliver the weapon. We’re running out of time. McMaster said that yesterday. I’m going to urge the Pentagon not to send any more dependents to South Korea.

So, are we on the brink of war? Are we being prepared for an inevitable escalation into nuclear weaponry to extinguish a growing threat to our homeland? I sure hope not. There is a real potential for a death count in the hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, and no one is prepared for that.


A recent Congressional Research Service report estimated as many as 300,000 could die in the first few days of fighting between the U.S. and North Korea––even without the use of nukes. A separate assessment from 38 North, a website analyzing North Korea, estimated 2.1 million could perish if nuclear detonations occurred over Tokyo or Seoul.


The experts say we’d be looking at a ground war and that presents geographic problems. America would win the war but the neighborhood wouldn’t be so happy about that. (Newsweek)


The U.S. military recently concluded a ground invasion would be necessary to destroy North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, since little intelligence is available on the location of its military assets, which would make airstrikes unreliable. This could get extremely complicated given the close proximity of North Korea to Russia and China, countries that would not benefit from a pro-America, unified Korean Peninsula.


Diplomacy has failed for several previous administrations. At this point, all we can do is hope war isn’t necessary and, if it does, we do what is necessary to win.

Karen Townsend is a guest author at Hot Air. You can read her other work at her Pondering Penguin blog. A longtime political blogger and activist, she enjoys writing about life and culture, too.