In shock and awe of the impressive cauldron of unstoppable inertia that has ceased North Korean missile and nuclear testing since November 29, 2017 and put forward dialogue on North Korean denuclearization, never done before between a North Korean Supreme Leader and a President of the United States, the North Korean Supreme Leader and the President of China along with the upcoming North Korean Supreme Leader and the President of South Korea is simply unprecedented, providing the first real steps for resolution of the North Korean nuclear ballistic missile crisis.
The critical enablers have been postured by new leadership as a result of the 2016 Presidential Election in the United States and the 2017 Presidential Election in the Republic of Korea. Spurned forward by a calculating North Korea in quantity, quality, and advancement of relentless testing in ballistic missile delivery systems and nuclear weapons over the 2016 election year and last year. The serendipity of the Olympics held on the Korean Peninsula hosted by the Republic of Korea, that conduced an environment of receptivity to North Korea’s participation to include delaying the annual large scale U.S.-South Korean military exercises, coupled by the openness and receptivity of dialogue with North Korea by President Trump, through Vice President Pence at the Olympics, was the tipping point momentum shift no one expected. Compounding the goodwill opportunity by accepting an invitation for South Korean representatives to meet with Kim Jon Un was the result of the direct leadership of President Moon and his Sunshine policy. The first ever South Korean Delegation that met face to face with Kim Jong Un last month and came to the White House with a proposal from President Kim Jong Un to meet with President Trump was symbolic and historic. Shortly after, President Trump announced his acceptance to meet with Kim Jong Un. In these preliminary meetings between the two Koreas, it was agreed South Korea’s Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un would also meet prior to Kim and Trump, now set for April 28, and that the agenda will look to the improvement of inter-Korean relations and will naturally help to posture the upcoming President Trump and Kim Jong Un meeting expected in May.
Until earlier this week, the North Korean Leader had not personally met with China and its leader Xi Jinping. With China not being a potential host for the President Trump and Supreme Leader Kim talks expected in May and a natural concern of the Korea to Korea talks in April that may lead a path to reunification, incentivized too by the leadership of President Trump for making the bold unilateral move to meet with North Korea, China acted to trump the United States by meeting with the North Korean leader first this past week to no doubt position and incentivize North Korea closer to alignment with China’s national security objectives in the region prior to meeting with President Trump in May. Though the outward strategic communication perception from both China, United States, South Korea and North Korea is collective in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, it is at what strategic cost in U.S. military presence on and around the Korean peninsula, what are the guarantees for North Korean regime stability in replacement of their nuclear capabilities, and most of all what is the agreed upon verification of denuclearization by North Korea on the peninsula. Adding to this complexity is the North Korean Leader’s calculus of playing both sides of China and the United States for its guarantee of survival. North Korea will certainly seek and expect generous economic trade and sanction relief, but with acceptance to both leaders of China and the United States, North Korea is now thrusted into a nebulous position of walking away from the table, as all of North Korean predecessors have done in previous engagements, with an all-encompassing China that has publicly endorsed North Korea and an aggressive and unpredictable U.S. President that walking away would result in severe repercussions and no tolerance for future North Korean testing that would threaten the United States.
It is the art of the deal.
As we marvel at this cauldron in the making, we acknowledge the shaping of the environment and certainly what the United States President has done since he came to office to engage with the North Korean in this upcoming dialogue. One of the cornerstones of this environment is the President’s complete and full confidence of our nation’s missile defense proven capability and capacity to defend completely and with full reliability U.S. Forces on the Korean peninsula, U.S. Forces in Japan, the United States Territory of Guam, and the American population in the 50 United States from any and all of the North Korean nuclear ballistic missile threat’s capability and capacity. President Trump could not and would not enter into negotiations with a third world country that poses and threatens with nuclear ballistic missiles without complete confidence that each and every North Korean missile would be defeated if launched against the United States.
The recent history of what has taken place since January 20th, 2017.
- February 3, 2017 – U.S. first successful intercept a IRBM target with the SM-3 Block IIA
- February 12, 2017 – North Korea first test of Pukkuksong-2 MRBM
- March 6, 2017 – North Korea test of four Scud-ER SRBMs
- March 6, 2017 – First elements of THAAD arrive at Osan Air Force Base, South Korea
- March 22, 2017 – North Korea failed test of an unidentified missile
- April 5, 2017 – North Korea unsuccessful test of Hwasong-12 IRBM
- April 16, 2017 – North Korea unsuccessful test of the Hwasong-12 IRBM
- April 26, 2017 – South Korea announces elements of THAAD were being operationally deployed to Seongju South Korea
- April 29, 2017 – North Korea unsuccessful test of Hwasong-12 IRBM
- May 14, 2017 – North Korea first successful test of the Hwasong-12 IRBM
- May 21, 2017 – North Korea second test of Pukkuksong-2 MRBM
- May 29, 2017 – North Korea test of Scud-ER SRBM
- May 30, 2017 – U.S. successful intercept of an ICBM target during a GMD test
- June 8, 2017 – North Korea launched several land-to-ship short-range missiles
- June 21, 2017 – U.S. unsuccessful intercept test with the SM-3 Block IIA
- July 4, 2017 – North Korea first test of Hwasong-14 ICBM
- July 11, 2017 – U.S. successful intercept of an IRBM target during a THAAD test
- July 28, 2017 – North Korea second test of Hwasong-14 ICBM
- July 30, 2017 – U.S. successful intercept of a MRBM target during THAAD test
- August 25, 2017 – North Korea launch of three Scud-B SRBMs
- August 29, 2017 – North Korea second successful test of the Hwasong-12 IRBM (first to fly over Japan since 1998)
- September 3, 2017 – North Korea’s 6th and most powerful nuclear test to date. (Claimed to be a hydrogen device and experts believe it potentially was)
- September 6, 2017 – Final pieces of THAAD deployed to South Korea
- September 15, 2017 – North Korea third successful test of the Hwasong-12 IRBM (second to fly over Japan)
- October 15, 2017 – During the 2017 Formidable Shield Exercise, the USS Donald Cook successfully detected, tracked, and intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target with a SM-3 Block IB missile. Multiple cruise missiles were also intercepted simultaneously, demonstrating the Integrated Air and Missile Defense naval capabilities of the U.S. and its NATO partners.
- October 22, 2017 – THAAD deployment to South Korea officially complete and operational
- November 29, 2017 – North Korea test Hwasong-15 ICBM
- January 2, 2018 – South Korea sent offer of talks with North Korea
- January 5, 2018 – North Korea accepts South Koreas’ invitation to talks
- January 31, 2018 – U.S. unsuccessful intercept test of the SM-3 Block IIA
- February 9, 2018 – North Korean delegation to the Olympics and Pence sit close to each other during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics (the two don’t speak to one another during the ceremony)
- February 25, 2018 – Olympic closing ceremony and North Korea states it is willing to engage in direct talks with the U.S.
- March 5, 2018 – South Korean delegation meets with KJU in Pyongyang
- March 6, 2018 – South Korean delegation says North Korea is willing to relinquish its nuclear weapons and freeze nuclear and missile programs while talks with U.S. are ongoing
- March 8, 2018 – Trump accepts KJU’s invitation to have talks
- March 25-28, 2018 – KJU visits Beijing and speaks with Xi Jinping at Xi’s invitation
- March 29, 2018 – After a working level meeting between North Korea and South Korea, a date is finalized for KJU and Moon to meet, April 27, other details still need to be worked out
The current U.S. missile defense capabilities deployed and defending against the North Korean ballistic threat towards U.S. forces and population today.
- South Korea
- One THAAD battery
- Two Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) with Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) battalions
- Five Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) ships
- One PAC-3 battalion in Okinawa
- One THAAD battery
- 50 States of the U.S.
- Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) with 44 Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs)
It is without a doubt – peace through strength. We strongly support the efforts of President Trump, President Moon, President Xi, and the Supreme Leader Kim of North Korea to peacefully and diplomatically denuclearize the Korean peninsula.