Dear Members and Friends,
Stability in the Korean Peninsula region is of paramount concern to our nation’s national security as well as the security of South Korea, Japan, China, and other Pacific Rim countries, as a successful and peaceful transition will hopefully take place in North Korea. Kim Jong-Il, the “Supreme Leader” of North Korea who from western perspective displayed irrational behavior and reasoning over his 17 years of rule, died earlier this week. During Kim Jong -Il’s reign, North Korea developed multiple nuclear weapons, thousands of ballistic missiles and tested ballistic missiles of short, medium and long range capabilities that were used to threaten and extract concessions from not only regional neighboring countries, but from the United States of America.
This week Allied and U.S. military forces have been put on high alert to secure, defend and protect their populations and forces, as well as show strength to the transitional leadership in North Korea, that their possible use or threat of military power will be deterred and defended against. North Korea is moving forward this week through its most challenging days of its history, with an internal North Korean leadership that seeks to show strength and stability to the outside world and its enemies who may view this as a time of North Korean weakness to seek influence and change. This dangerous, tight-rope path of North Korean transition must be stabilized and be especially sensitive to the new nuclear power status and irrational history of North Korea. This should not be mistaken as potentially the will of one individual, Kim Jong Un, “The Great Successor” the son of Kim Jong-Il, as there are many influencers inside and outside the government of North Korea that are in power and seek a stable transition and future. The United States, China, and allies in the region should do everything possible to allow those voices of reasoning and stability to come forth and succeed.
To these objectives of stability in the Korean region, we as a nation are extremely grateful for the leadership of our military and our U.S. presidents over time that have taken the initiative to develop and deploy a robust, layered missile defense system, which today is in place creating real stability through deterrence and defense in the area around North Korea and as far reaching as Hawaii, Alaska and our homeland. The cost of not having these missile defense systems in place today is “priceless” in the lives of our Allies, friends, and military forces deployed.
The missile defense systems responsible for the security, stability, and peace during this transitional period of North Korea are as follows:
- United States Ground Based Missile Defense system deployed in Alaska and California and commanded in Colorado by the 100th Missile Defense Brigade
- Early Warning Radars and Sensors based in Japan, Alaska, California, and on Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) ships, as well as the Sea Based X Band Radar.
- Space sensors operated by the U.S. Air Force in Colorado
- U.S. Navy Aegis BMD ships with SM-3 1A missiles deployed in the seas around Korea and Japan commanded by the U.S. Pacific Fleet
- Japanese Congo Class Aegis BMD ships with SM-3 1A missiles in seas around Japan
- U.S. Patriot Batteries deployed in Korea and Japan commanded by the U.S. Army 94th Air and Missile Defense Command
- Korean Patriot Batteries deployed in Korea
- Japanese Patriot Batteries deployed in Japan
On behalf of the American public, our Allies and friends throughout the Pacific region, great gratitude goes out to the men and women who serve on all of these missile defense systems that are keeping our world safe during this challenging time.
Displaying strength without provocation is what missile defense does uniquely, above and beyond what any offensive military system can provide in these volatile times of transition.
Missile defense systems are vital, and this transition in North Korea further validates the current and future need and requirements for missile defense in a world that continues to evolve.