July 6, 2009

Dear Members and Friends,

Seven North Korean ballistic missiles were fired on July 4th from North Korea into the East Sea, the body of water that separates Japan from North Korea. The seven missiles launched were a mixture of Scud – C short-range ballistic missiles and Rodong/Nodong medium-range ballistic missiles with ranges from 350 miles to 800 miles. These North Korean ballistic missiles were liquid fueled, mobile land-based systems and as such their launch pads and locations were not known prior to their launching. Satellite intelligence can only provide post-launch analysis of backtracking the trajectories to the launch locations after the missiles have been fired. The North Korean demonstration of our lack of detection prior to launch provides very difficult challenges for pre-emptive military action to disable or destroy North Korean ballistic missiles prior to launch in possible future scenarios.

It is with appreciation, that the current Administration understands the future regional threats and has increased $900 million to the 2010 Missile Defense budget. That $900 million for 2010 is allocated for an increase in missile interceptors with the THAAD land-based mobile system as well as the Aegis ship based missile defense system.

The launching of these seven ballistic missiles on July 4th followed four short-range ballistic missiles on July 2nd by North Korea thus providing more confidence, reliability and robustness of ballistic missile technologies for the North Korean military-industrial complex. These types of multiple tests collectively provide more assurance and technical confidence for those systems as well as for the development of the long-range ballistic missile TaepoDong-2. The first stage of the TaepoDong-2 is made up of three to four rocket engines with the same commonality of liquid fuel for combustion that are exactly used in the one rocket engine ballistic missiles that were fired on July 4th. The second stage of the Taepo-Dong 2 has the same technologies and rocket engine similarity to the missiles launched on July 4th.

Admiral Timothy Keating Commander of the US Pacific Command stated in Honolulu this weekend that he believes North Korea has the capability to fire a long-range ballistic missile (ICBM) that will reach the United States or Hawaii. “We believe they have the capability to do so but they haven’t yet demonstrated the intent.” It is apparent with these comments by the head of the Pacific Combat Command and with the still deployed Sea-Based X-band radar that the long-range ballistic missile threat to Hawaii and the United States is and remains real.

With North Korea continuing to flaunt, deploy and actively test ballistic missiles to provoke our nation and our allies along with its nuclear weapons, it is with hope, great expectation and nonsensical belief that our United States Congress can rectify the Administration’s budget decision made against overwhelming public support to decrease our nation’s only deployed proven long-range ballistic missile defense system, the ground-based interceptors deployed at Fort Greely and Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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