Monday, June 26, 2017

With North Korea Threatening, the U.S. Advances on Missile Defense

From National Review by Richard Weitz
North Korea’s murder of Otto Warmbier is yet another reminder that the United States needs a new approach to deal with the Pyongyang problem. Unfortunately, sanctions, threats, and diplomacy have failed to steer North Korea away from making America its primary nuclear target. In his testimony to the House Armed Services Committee last week, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis accurately called North Korea a “most urgent and dangerous threat” to global security. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, speaking at the hearing, noted that “North Korea has been on a relentless path to field a nuclear-armed ICBM that can reach the United States.”

[.] Though warning of the costs of having to fight “a war like nothing we have seen since 1953” if conflict broke out again on the Korean Peninsula, Mattis told the committee that the ground-based interceptors (GBIs) stationed in Alaska and California provide adequate protection despite North Korean and other missile threats: “It’s a worsening situation. . . . But we can buy the time right now.” These systems consist, first, of a multistage solid-fuel booster. It propels a “kill vehicle” that collides with a target in outer space, obliterating any warhead before it can even return to the atmosphere.

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