From Palestine Chronicle
Not too far away from Seattle, Washington, there are eight ballistic-missile submarines carrying the world's large shipments of nuclear weapons.
The 560-foot-long black submarines are docked at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, hauling what is described by Rick Anderson in a recent Los Angeles Times article as "the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the US."
"If it were a sovereign nation," Anderson wrote, quoting government estimates, "Washington State would be the third-largest nuclear-weapons power in the world."
One is often haunted by this manifest reality, especially whenever a nuclear crisis between the US and North Korea flares up, such as the one which started in late July. At the time, US President Donald Trump threatened Pyongyang with "fire and fury like the world has never seen before," while Kim Jong-un seemed undaunted.
Americans are assured by their military power -- both conventional and nuclear. Most people here are either not aware, or simply do not care, about the disparity between their country's nuclear capabilities and the miniscule nuclear weapons program operated by North Korea.
Visiting Kitsap-Bangor early August, US Defense Secretary, James N. Mattis, toured the USS Kentucky and declared that the submarine is ready for action, if needed.
The nuclear load that the USS Kentucky alone carries is equal to 1,400 bombs, the size of which the US dropped and subsequently destroyed Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.
North Korea's saber-rattling in recent weeks -- which are a repeat of previous episodes such as in April of this year and twice last year -- should be cause for alarm. But far scarier is the fact that North Korea's entire nuclear stockpiles consist of 60 nuclear weapons, compared with 6,970 owned by the US, out of which 1,750 are operational.
To place these numbers in a global perspective, there are an estimated 15,000 nuclear weapons, worldwide.
While the North Koreans require a sixth successful test to put a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), the US has conducted 1,030 such nuclear tests, starting in July 1945.
Surely, one cannot excuse the foolish and desperate behavior of Pyongyang and its "beloved leader." But the truth is Kim Jong-un is behaving in a way consistent with the legacy of his forefathers -- paranoid dictators, desperate to survive amid global rivalries and an old regional war that has never truly ended.
Indeed, there is more to this crisis than Kim Jong-un and his unpredictable antics.
In mainstream media, North Korea is often referred to as a "highly secretive nation." Such references give pundits and politicians an uncontested platform to make whatever assumptions that suit them. But the legacy of the Korean War (1950-53), which divided Korea and its peoples is hardly a secret. An estimated 4 million people were killed in that most savage war, including 2 million civilians.
The US and its allies fought that war under the flag of the nascent United Nations. It is not very difficult to imagine why North Koreans detest the US, distrust US allies and loathe the UN and its repeated sanctions, especially as the country often suffers from food insecurity -- among other problems.