Local expert nuclear weapons weighs in on recent missile launches from North Korea, threat to U.S.

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North Korea launched two missiles recently, and White House officials believe a full test of a new type of long-range missile could come in the near future.

These missiles are likely capable of reaching the United States.

After the two most recent tests, American Missile Defense and Reconnaissance Forces in the Pacific have been placed in a state of “enhanced readiness.”

Mark Bell, Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Department of Political Science, believes North Korea has already demonstrated it can reach the United States with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

“What they’ve done today or over the last few days is an incremental improvement on that. So it’s significant but not a massive change in the capabilities that they have,” Bell said in an interview with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

Bell is an expert in U.S. foreign policy, international relations, and nuclear weapons.

“I think we don’t know exactly what they’re trying to achieve… It may be just, they’re genuinely interested to see if this capability works,” Bell said, adding, “It’s sort of reason that they would want it given their political goals.”

Bell noted Kim Jong-Un could have an ulterior motive. “It may be that they’re trying to kick start negotiations with the Biden administration put some additional pressure on the Biden administration to provide them with some sanctions relief and so on,” Bell stated.

However, Bell believes the likelihood of North Korea outright attacking the United States is low.

“This is a regime that has nuclear weapons for one main purpose, and that is to stop the United States from attacking them,” Bell said.