Dear Members and Friends,
As North Korea continues to blatantly fire missile after missile, test after test, 57 total since the beginning of last year, the optics look like a desperate North Korea strategic messaging to their own people, the region and for a hopeful deal with the United States. It is, however, clearly apparent that the North Korea reality is a massive technical ballistic missile and nuclear weapon development program at an accelerated pace that western industrial societies cannot comprehend. North Korea is not restricted by western engineering and development thinking, costs, testing, risk and limitations. North Korea is not bound by how the United States and Western countries conceive, develop, produce and declare initial operations for ballistic missiles, advanced weapons to include nuclear bombs and their delivery means. Western Intelligence agencies including the United States are continually challenged on making and providing correct accurate information on North Korea’s current and future capability. This clearly was evident on the first view of the Hwasong-12 mobile missile in the North Korean parade on April 15, 2017 with a launch without previous testing in its validation the following month on May 14, 2017 (link) and having a IOC capability with the test shot (link). Three other systems (the Polaris-2, the KN-08, and KN-14) that included two ICBM-capable missile systems that would draw reality conclusions that could be fully tested and operational as quickly as demonstrated by North Korea on its Hwasong-12 mobile system.
“The most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security is North Korea. North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them has increased in pace and scope. The regime’s nuclear weapons program is a clear and present danger to all, and the regime’s provocative actions, manifestly illegal under international law, have not abated despite United Nations’ censure and sanctions.” ~U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, June 12, 2017
With direct support from Russian and Chinese businesses not restricted by both those governments, North Korea today is capable of developing and adding complex decoys and countermeasures to their current inventories of ballistic missiles. North Korea is on the verge over the next three to four years of developing MIRV (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles), having multiple reentry nuclear weapons on one ballistic missile. North Korea will also look to advance in this time frame to gain and deploy maneuverable missiles and in the future, hypersonic glide capability as Russia and China are testing and pursing today. All of these new promising and future developments from North Korea will overwhelm the current limited U.S. missile defense capability and capacity that is deployed and operational today for simplistic North Korea ballistic missile threats.
The United States in its limited policy and limited budget for missile defense along with the resolution of its recent success of its third generation GBIs (Ground-Based Interceptors) (link) is challenged to hold 44 GBIs and stay ahead of the North Korean missile threat to the United States. Not until 2021 will there be a new GBI kill vehicle called the RKV (Redesigned Kill Vehicle) that can increase capacity and a new radar in Alaska called the LRDR (Long-Range Discrimination Radar) as well as possibly by 2022 a MRDR (Medium-Range Discrimination Radar) in either Hawaii, Japan, the East Coast, Europe, Shemya Island, Alaska, or a combination of all them that can increase persistence and discrimination. There is a real gap of vulnerability between now and 2021 to stay clearly ahead of North Korea’s continued accelerated ballistic missile and nuclear weapon development, and much more so for the state of Hawaii dependent on a long-range, “one-look, one-shot” short and early opportunity and the lack of persistence of SBX (Sea-Based X-band radar) that will have to be dry-dock serviced during this time.
“We are not comfortably ahead of the threat, we addressing the threat we know today” ~Vice Admiral James Syring, Director of the Missile Defense Agency, June 7, 2017.
Just as acutely, South Korea’s new president, Mr. Moon Jae-in, is wavering in his commitment to deployment of the U.S. THAAD system in Korea (link), the only missile defense system on the Korean Peninsula that is proven and capable of intercepting North Korean nuclear ballistic missiles targeting the Republic of Korea. President Moon is jeopardizing South Korea’s population of 80 million with a possible withdrawal of THAAD given an unpredictable and reactionary U.S. President. More dangerous is that President Moon’s decision may result in the collapse of his government if President Trump unilaterally pulls the THAAD system out, setting the precedent for the withdrawal of U.S. forces because they will be undefended in Korea, giving the bill of defense and total responsibility of defense of Korea, to Korea.
There are serious decisions staking the future of millions of lives that have to be weighed-out, thought-through and have the political courage and intelligence in leadership in making the right decisions. The current U.S. DoD (Department of Defense) policy on missile defense and it’s limited missile defense budget has to change. Existing missile defense capability and capacity has to change and must be leveraged, deployed and made operational into the Pacific theater. U.S. collective allied and massive defensive fires in capacity and capability must be integrated and brought to the Pacific. Russia and China have to be forced to play a major role in deescalating North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile testing and development to include stopping their private businesses in supporting North Korea and using their economic power and trade to force halting North Korea with a possible regime change if necessary for diplomatic peaceful solution. It is clearly in both Russia and China’s best interest in de-escalation of North Korea as well as Iran for as their threats evolve and tensions continue to rise, the United States will evolve, develop and deploy more advanced, cheaper and more effective missile defense systems to include boost-phase missile defense with directed energy and lasers resulting in complete dominance of the ballistic missile defense domain.
We collectively will undoubtedly get burned if we continue to fuel the fire and play with that fire. We collectively need to put out the fire now with ways and means we all have before it becomes a towering inferno; too big to put out.
It ain’t over till the fat man sings, and we don’t want him to sing “North Korean Inferno.”
“Satisfaction came in the chain reaction
I couldn’t get enough, so I had to
The heat was on, rising to the top!
Everybody’s goin’ strong
And that is when my spark got hot
I heard somebody say
Burn baby burn, North Korean Inferno”