Marc Thiessen commented here this morning on Bret Stephens’s Tuesday column about China’s “Underground Great Wall” (see my post from yesterday). Marc notes that China is not the only country digging underground nuclear facilities, with Iran and North Korea also engaged in extensive tunneling, and lists two reasons that these countries do so: “to hide their growing arsenals from Western satellite surveillance” and to keep “their nuclear programs out of reach of our weapons.” To negate the advantages gained by tunneling, Marc calls for the U.S. to develop earth penetrating nuclear weapons.
Writing for The Diplomat last month, Jeffrey Lewis and Elbridge Colby made a similar case:
Getting at Kim means putting at risk North Korea’s growing number of hard and deeply buried targets. North Korea has sought to preserve its leadership and other valued assets, such as its nuclear and missile forces, by constructing underground facilities ranging from relatively shallow ‘cut and cover’ facilities to complexes buried beneath hundreds of meters of hard rock. Although most of these facilities can be threatened with conventional earth penetrators, a few may be too deep for conventional options, especially those where Kim himself might plan to hide. For the near future, only nuclear weapons could hold such targets at risk.
Read the rest here.