Every recent president has authorized one, and any current improvements to the nuclear arsenal are the result of President Obama's last assessment in 2010. North Korea is run by grade-A blusterers who say insane shit all the time, so it's possible that they don't want to hit that giant red LAUNCH button any more than the rest of the civilized world. And Trump responded Tuesday by saying that such action would be met with "fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before".
And then there is the question of Twitter bots, which form a large percentage of Trump's followers and which the president has even been known to retweet. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before....
While the US has daunting nuclear power, the Pentagon's program has been beset with morale, training, discipline and resource problems.
In response to questions from reporters, the White House pointed to Trump's January 27 executive order calling for a "Nuclear Posture Review". When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, that arsenal stood at 22,217. The co-leader of the review, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva, said July 18 that a thorough look at the country's nuclear strategies will take a few more months at best. Under the New START treaty with Russian Federation that took effect in early 2011, Washington and Moscow have agreed to a limit of 1,550 total deployed weapons. The weapons themselves are less powerful: the Titan missile, for example, carried a 9 megaton warhead, several orders of magnitude more destructive than the ones fielded now.
Wall St stock rally could be derailed by US-N Korea tension
On the London stock market, mining shares saw the biggest falls as many metal prices were hit by the geopolitical concerns. The S&P 500 index was down 18.45 points to 2,455.57 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 68.32 points to 6,284.01.
The U.S. nuclear weapons strategy rests on a triad of delivery systems - bombers, submarines and land-based missiles - developed early in the Cold War.
Mr. Trump's "first order" refers to a January 27 presidential memorandum ordering a new Nuclear Posture Review, characterized by the Pentagon as "legislatively mandated" and the basis of nuclear policy.
"China calls on all sides to uphold the main direction of a political resolution to the Korean peninsula nuclear issue, and avoid any words or actions that may intensify the problem and escalate the situation", the government said in a statement sent to Reuters, repeating its customary stance.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday that the United States and its allies have more than what they need to end any potential conflict with North Korea.