The North Korean Test Sunday morning on February 12th was a successful research and development test of a lofted trajectory ballistic missile to further the development and reliability of a long range nuclear ballistic missile. The picture of the launcher released by North Korea shows a submarine vertical launcher on a land mobile platform that validates a solid fuel mobile capability and the unequivocal and significant progress of North Korea becoming a nuclear power within the region and the world to be reckoned with.
The North Korea test ballistic missile was launched into space for the objective of elevation gain with higher velocity for increased range within a short area and further development of a reentry nuclear capable vehicle to withstand the high speeds of reentry from a more vertical terminal trajectory. This coupled with the mobile land based vertical launcher that can be fitted on land vehicles, submarines and ships that is solid fueled with loft capability brings forth application of longer range missiles against the Republic of Korea along with a survivable capability that would challenge preemptive strike and intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities of the United States, Korea and Japan.
The North Korean test was premeditated and calculated to go to the edge of the threshold of serious repercussions from the United States and Japan by staying within a short range and with a missile in configuration that could not demonstrate capability to strike Japan or United States territory. This North Korean test clearly demonstrates and strengthens its ballistic missile strike capability against the Republic of Korea and United States Forces on the Korean Peninsula.
The United States, Japan and Korea must be collective, responsive and swift in a strong response towards North Korea that is adhered, respected and impactful enough to curtail and stop nuclear ballistic missile development from North Korea. This cannot be ignored and failure not to confront and stop North Korea will just incentivize more tests, more development and a robust nuclear North Korean capability that would hold the region and the United States hostage.
Defense of the region and its population against North Korea ballistic missiles today should be the top priority. The President of the United States needs to consider surging current and new existing missile defense capability into the region. Deploying current Missile Segment Enhancement missiles, the newest Patriot interceptors, on upgraded Patriot units in Korea and deploying a THAAD battery in Japan would provide additional and needed protection for both countries and their populations which is in United States inventory today but not deployed.
Coercing China to apply considerable pressure upon North Korea to cease its nuclear ballistic missile development is vital and must be brought forward and led by the United States President. American economic power with incentives and increased American military presence in this region would be some of the tools to be applied by the President of the United States with withdrawing them once the North Korean nuclear ballistic missile threat is dissipated.
We look forward to the upcoming decisions of the President of the United States to curtail and stop North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development.