Directly related to the North Korean mobile ICBM validation this weekend, and tipping the point that our prevention policy has failed (Link), U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley
“There is no point in having an emergency session if it produces nothing of consequence. North Korea is already subject to numerous Security Council resolutions that they violate with impunity… An additional Security Council resolution that does not significantly increase the international pressure on North Korea is of no value. In fact, it is worse than nothing, because it sends the message to the North Korean dictator that the international community is unwilling to seriously challenge him.”
“China must decide whether it is finally willing to take this vital step,” Haley’s statement continued. “The time for talk is over. The danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all.”
Yesterday, July 30, 2017 a prescheduled THAAD intercept test took place with a successful intercept (Link). This was not a reaction to the North Korean test, but an emphatically resounded endorsement and confidence in the system to defeat complex multiple ballistic missiles over the South Korean Peninsula to our Combatant Commanders and the President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in, who has requested an additional four THAAD launchers, which hold eight interceptors per launcher, for the existing U.S. THAAD battery already operationally deployed in the Republic of Korea (Link). The THAAD test, which was the second test in the past three weeks, with the first test proving capability outside of its requirements (Link) and this test stayed within its operational requirements to clearly bring more reliability and confidence to the U.S. Army war fighters operating these systems in the Republic of Korea and in Guam against a complex North Korea ballistic missile threat today and in the future. The world, certainly the Republic of Korea and our U.S. military forces serving there, are swept up in gratitude to MDA for testing THAAD and bringing more reliability and confidence to the system. THAAD is 15 for 15 over 12 years in its intercept testing.
President Moon’s monumental reversal on the U.S. THAAD system in Korea, its activation, its continued presence, and its added capability is to be commended and seem as a true validation of the North Korean nuclear ballistic missile threat capability to South Korea and its people.
The THAAD battery has a tremendous range providing complex multiple firing control solutions with its radar that has inherent capability to launch other U.S. interceptors from its radar and system that are both remotely located and with the system as deployed. The new generation, higher flying Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) Patriot interceptor that are being deployed on U.S. Patriot systems in Korea and around the world, could be fired from the THAAD battery as well as other interceptors to include the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) and SM-6 U.S. Navy interceptors.
There are six operational THAAD batteries with a seventh coming online next year. Three of the six THAADs are deployed to the Republic of Korea, Guam, and as a Global Response Force based out of Fort Bliss, Texas. There is surge capability for additional THAAD firing batteries into the Pacific region even with strained manpower. The U.S. must move forward with acquiring more THAAD interceptors and THAAD batteries, to upwards of nine or more, of which the U.S. Army have originally requested and all the manning that goes with each new battery.
China has always been and always will be strongly against THAAD, and its presence in the Pacific region. In this time of crisis and North Korea aggressively pushing the U.S. Threshold, the United States must surge for its allies and for its forces in the Pacific with more missile defense capacity and capability to further stabilize and best defend the region. The United States must invest and move expediently into the next generation of missile defense that would bring unquestioned air supremacy and space dominance as a direct result of North Korea’s threat upon the United States and the region.
“As the principal economic enablers of North Korea’s nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development program, China and Russia bear unique and special responsibility for this growing threat to regional and global stability,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday July 28, 2017.