Earlier today, North Korea launched two short-ranged ballistic missiles in an apparent response to the annual joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises about to commence. The missiles were fired from the town of Nampo, on North Korea’s western coast on the Yellow Sea, and flew around 500 kilometers across North Korean territory and landed in the Sea of Japan. The range of this test demonstrates North Korea’s ability to strike the whole of South Korea, and shows North Korea’s inclination towards salvo raids as its tactic of choice for its ballistic missile forces.
This event today clearly demonstrates the requirement for a seamless ballistic missile defense capability to handle salvos of ballistic missiles from North Korea, of which it has an ample supply. Currently, the United States and South Korea have point-defense Patriot Batteries deployed to defend key civilian and military areas throughout South Korea. These systems are effective in their mission against the short-range SCUD-type ballistic missiles, but there remains unprotected areas, and the potential for higher altitude intercepts that would nullify the ballistic missile threat from North Korea both through volume and reliability that would deter ballistic missile use.
Modernizing and integrating both U.S. and South Korean Patriot units to incorporate the Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptor along with a deployment of a U.S. THAAD interceptor system that would cover the entire country of South Korea solves these vulnerabilities, and is justified in dealing with North Korea.
It is urgent that our nation and the Republic of Korea move towards giving the civilian population and both of our military forces in Korea the capability to protect the millions of lives at stake on this peninsula. These missile defense systems shared by both countries in place can shape the strategic environment and help to prevent North Korea’s aggression to secure peace in this highly volatile region.
It is the responsibility of both governments to protect and defend their territory and people.
MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.
MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.