The North Korea Standoff, Like the Cuban Missile Crisis, Exposes the Reckless U.S. Worldview
Publisher: The Intercept
Date Written: 17/08/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21408
The confrontation between the U.S. and North Korea has cooled off slightly with Kim Jong-un's announcement that, at least for the time being, he will not attack Guam with an "enveloping fire." A good place to start is with the repeated comparisons U.S. politicians have made between the situation with North Korea and the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962.
Here's the real similarity:
The "crisis" then and now was created by the refusal of the U.S. to live under the same threat to which we subject others.
John F. Kennedy had claimed during his 1960 presidential campaign that the U.S. faced a terrifying nuclear "missile gap" with the Soviet Union, which was poised to overwhelm the homeland at any second. As Kennedy likely knew, this was exactly the opposite of reality. The Soviets had a few dozen unreliable intercontinental ballistic missiles, while the U.S. had several hundred of much higher quality. When Americas nuclear-armed bombers and submarines were added, the U.S. had about 10 times as many nuclear warheads as the Soviets.
Soon after Kennedy took office, the U.S. stationed medium-range nuclear-tipped Jupiter missiles in Italy, and placed more in Turkey in April 1962. ICBMs launched from the U.S. would take perhaps 30 minutes to reach the Soviet Union. The Turkish missiles were about 2,000 kilometers from Moscow and therefore could strike the Soviet capital with almost no warning.