The United States firm and rapid deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system into the Korean Peninsula this week, encapsulates the new national security policy of President Trump that is not based on rhetoric communiques, orchestrated public international statements to appease, and empty United Nations resolutions and sanctions like the past three United States Presidential Administrations. This ‘speak loudly and afraid to use the big stick,’ U.S. policy of the past is being replaced by the opposite after its final crescendo which allowed a nuclear North Korea, who is threatening the United States and the region today with nuclear ballistic missiles from an accelerated capability and demonstrated already five times this year.
With their self-addicted presumption of power, North Korea with the silent backing of China, is demanding bilateral talks with the United States, elimination of the U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) annual exercises – which exist because of the armistice of the Korean war – that are taking place this month, and stopping the deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defense system on the Korean Peninsula. All of this pontification, launching of missiles, detonating nuclear bombs underground, and assassinations under an untouchable umbrella of artillery fire upon Seoul and under the eyes of China, is driven in part for that one small victory of getting the United States to the table in order to be seen as a legitimate world power, get a concession or two and then walk away to begin this cycle again. A repetitive orchestrated cycle, since the Korean War began in 1950, that is all about getting the American Forces off the Korean Peninsula and is shared by North Korea and China to this day.
This perplexed positioning and obvious timing of excessive ballistic missile tests over the past year from a more aggressive North Korean leader, than his father and grandfather, has been merged with an overt and covert Chinese strategy to apply direct influential pressure on an unstable conservative South Korean Government and its public – that has impeached President Park (Link) and are responsible for the decision to deploy THAAD last year on July 7th, 2016 – to change their decision on the deployment. From the Chinese and North Korean side of the DMZ, they are accelerating the nuclear ballistic missile threat to the ROK in testing and demonstrations, as a direct result from the decision of the ROK government to deploy the THAAD, with the belief that the ROK public and the liberal government would not go forward with the deployment. On the U.S. and South Korean side of the DMZ, the opposite reality and shaping took place as the accelerated North Korean behavior in testing and demonstrations of nuclear and ballistic capability last year drove the ROK public and government to increasingly support the deployment and galvanized the government against North Korea, rather than split its political parties on the THAAD deployment during the impeachment instability and the highly provocative February 12th missile test.
There was no rhetoric, no threats, no red lines drawn, no grandstanding diplomacy, just the ‘big stick’ on the Pen – ready to protect the ROK and fully operate- the THAAD system which was delivered early this week to Osan Air Force Base, Korea.
The U.S. THAAD deployment in Osan AFB, Korea provides immediate first time capability that could be operational within a month to defend Seoul along with American and ROK Bases from the DMZ to the lower part of the Peninsula and out to both seas that border from multiple and complex North Korean nuclear ballistic missiles. Osan AFB provides a secure, hardened, defended location that has an established U.S. Patriot Battery operationally deployed for the protection of THAAD while it waits for the permanent secure basing to be built in southern Korea. The THAAD in Korea today has created a deterrent and a defense that changes the North Korean calculus on its ballistic missile and nuclear capability to be successful in striking Korea and its population. It has made the 50 million people of Korea and the American Forces there safer. – Riki Ellison on March 7, 2017.
The most capable missile defense system in the world is in position to become active quickly and provide ballistic missile defense operations for the majority of ROK, for the first time in its history, on any notification or intelligence of an upcoming North Korean ballistic missile demonstration. This extremely powerful tool deployed on the Peninsula has changed North Korea’s direct nuclear ballistic missile threat to the ROK and adds invincibility of protection against them for U.S. and ROK wide range of options. Equally and maybe more important is the ‘big stick’ message to China, as there will more “big sticks” coming and there is intent to swing them if North Korea continues down this path.
When you deal with bullies, actions always speak louder than any words spoken and sometimes the “big stick” needs to swing to put the bullies in place.