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North Korea – Impending Missile Launch May Require US Military Action

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A dangerous situation is brewing on the Korean peninsula and it has me, someone who is typically anti-war, of the opinion that we might need to act militarily to stop a potential catastrophe.

The North Koreans are planning to launch a new longer-range missile, called the "Unha-2" on or about July 4th. There are arguments about the capabilities of this missile, but it is generally agreed that at the least, the missile will have the capability to reach Alaska and Hawaii. Some estimates have the missile able to reach the continental United States.  See this article from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/features/post-launch-examination-of-the-unha-2 and this article http://www.planostar.com/articles/2009/06/30/plano_star-courier/news/621.txt from the Plano Star for discussions regarding the capabilities of North Korean Missile Technology. The North Koreans have said they will aim the missile about to be launched in the direction of the United States.


North Korean Unha-2 rocket from earlier test

If you combine the capabilities of this missile with the fact that North Korea has tested two nuclear weapons over the past three years, the concern becomes very serious. The UN considered it serious enough to ban all weapons exports from the DPRK. To make matters worse, the North Koreans have threatened to "shower the US with a nuclear fire" if "attacked" see http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/25/north-korea-nuclear-threat and as I mentioned have already said they will target the US with this missile.  

Scientists are of the opinion that the North Koreans do not have the technology to miniaturize a nuclear warhead so that it could fit on its new longer ranged missile, but if you were responsible for the defense of the United States, could you take that chance? I don't think I could or would.

If the North Koreans start fueling the missile or otherwise get the missile close to being ready to launch, unless the United States can verify with 100% certainty that it is not fitted with a nuclear payload, I think the missile has to be destroyed on the launch pad. If we attack, the North Koreans would only have themselves to blame. You cannot threaten other countries with a WMD attack and then prepare to launch a missile in their direction a few days later and expect the target country not to react. Being anti-war doesn't include ignoring a situation like this.          

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This is not an Iraq situation where there is a question if the DPRK has weapons of mass destruction. We all know they do. This is also different from Iraq in that the North Koreans have a verifiable long-range delivery vehicle that can reach US soil. Finally, this is different from Iraq in that virtually every country in the world and the UN agree on all of these points.

President Obama has received criticism from Republicans for not being more firm with his North Korea policy. If in fact the US military hasn't received orders to be ready to destroy this missile if necessary, that criticism would be well founded, but the problem is that OpSec, or Operational Security would dictate that such orders be kept secret. However, there is a hint about what might be going on in terms of US defense.

The Commander of US Pacific Forces, Admiral Timothy Keating, was interviewed by Viola Gienger of Bloomberg News Service and indicated that "the military is ready to handle any orders it might receive in response to North Korea's threatened missile launches and potential illicit shipments." see http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090630/NEWS08/906300336/-1/RSS02?source=rss_localnews .

The fact that Admiral Keating allowed himself, and has been allowed by his superiors, to be interviewed on this subject means that a message is being sent to North Korea and it underscores the seriousness of the situation. I wonder if most Americans understand how serious it is. Admiral Keating's statements come on the heels of President Obama's statements a week ago broadcast in an interview on CBS saying "his administration and the U.S. military are "fully prepared for any contingencies" involving North Korea -- including the possible launch of a long-range missile toward Hawaii." see http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/dprk/2009/dprk-090622-voa01.htm

If an attack becomes necessary, should we stop with the missile and launch pad? Should we expand the attack to the nuclear plant(s) that produce weaponized plutonium and/or uranium? Should we liberate North Korea entirely? Do we even have the ability to mount such a campaign with significant percentages of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan? Would China react or could we get their buy in to any necessary action? Certainly, the Chinese would not ignore the situation if threatened similarly. Perhaps the Chinese have already been consulted. Such a consultation would not be publicly disclosed for obvious reasons.

What I keep coming back to whenever I think of this situation is that President Obama cannot allow this missile to be launched. ABM or Anti-Ballistic Missile technology has a significant failure rate and you can't take the chance with what might be a nuclear weapon. I hope the North Koreans abort the preparations to launch this missile. If they cannot be convinced to do that, we may be a few days away from a new Korean war.

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http://www.ibtimes.com/blog/steven-leser_103/bio/

A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with (more...)
 

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Something which you completely fail to consider in... by dotmafia on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 6:36:40 AM
on speculation that the North Korean regime is not... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 8:36:21 AM
Yeah.....I'd bet on it.... The question is......W... by zonie on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:19:36 AM
John. Maybe it's a sign of the times, the same si... by GL Rowsey on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 12:34:23 PM
nor do I advocate a military strike against North ... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 3:39:25 PM
John, if it's the victim of nuclear weapons explos... by GL Rowsey on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 4:03:20 PM
I agree that a nuclear response is not a foregone ... by Jack Fortner on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 3:11:37 PM
on stupid paranoia?... by Bia Winter on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 2:32:07 PM
I would be willing to bet my life that North Korea... by WML on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 2:29:52 PM
I'm filing this article where it belomgs, under We... by Bob Tracey on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 2:40:53 PM
"The marks are getting restless and starting to fi... by eric dynamic on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 5:12:47 PM
Seriously...who didn't see this coming? we may wan... by Jack Fortner on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 3:08:11 PM
Assertion that we need to commit ourselves militar... by steve scheetz on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 5:00:40 PM
No, that's not advice for Obama, but it IS what th... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 6:37:29 PM
Great Article. I thought you might be int... by Lawrence Gist on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 7:04:43 PM
If NK wants to launch tests on US holidays to try ... by eric dynamic on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 4:56:10 PM
Remember that little game, a few weeks ago?They di... by Jennifer Hathaway on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:38:50 PM
...sure they weren't just Latinos?... by Bia Winter on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 2:36:46 PM
We just invade other countries for no particular r... by Starla Immak on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:44:37 PM
Because while we hear (endlessly) about him, we he... by eric dynamic on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 4:17:29 PM
Is this 'W' writing under a pen-name?  J... by jag on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 10:35:30 PM
It appears Mr. Leser has fallen for the fear monge... by Michael Lee on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 10:50:45 PM
It was completely unacceptable to invade Iraq beca... by steve scheetz on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 11:56:55 PM
Have Korean family, have worked and lived in Korea... by Jay Janson on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 11:14:17 PM
I applaud your statements. You indeed speak the tr... by John Little on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 at 12:30:31 AM
BUT. I've been castigating Obama, ever since his d... by GL Rowsey on Saturday, Jul 4, 2009 at 1:51:22 AM
I Googled to "Obama Calls on U.N. to Punish North ... by GL Rowsey on Saturday, Jul 4, 2009 at 1:59:12 AM
BUT. I've been castigating Obama, ever since his d... by GL Rowsey on Saturday, Jul 4, 2009 at 1:51:48 AM
North Korea firing another missile. Giant yawn. Bi... by Mac McKinney on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 11:40:51 PM
The US tests its missiles all the time. Where is t... by John Little on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 at 12:25:17 AM
John, you should really submit this as an article!... by Raphael Sidelman on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 at 11:53:37 AM
His list is accurate, substituting "Kim Jong Il" f... by eric dynamic on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 4:13:03 PM
is that? A single missile is to be launched by a v... by Archie on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 at 12:36:45 AM
Problem: The N. Koreans say that if attacked, they... by reasonableperson on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 at 1:05:15 AM
The Afghan and Iraq Wars are decreasing in enterta... by Jason Paz on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 at 1:26:23 AM
Especially with jerks like that former CIA guy tel... by Bia Winter on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 2:44:12 PM
"In this day and age, any wealthy individual can b... by eric dynamic on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 4:07:23 PM
        Funny t... by mary sunshine on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 at 2:01:32 AM
Steve, We luckily have some time to consider our o... by Guitar Chris on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 at 2:30:44 AM
They know how to present the image, but compared t... by eric dynamic on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 4:44:27 PM
LOL, Boy Oh Boy, you Yanks never disapoint do you ... by Eddy Schmid on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 at 7:25:00 AM
The US is a propaganda state, and keeping people i... by eric dynamic on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 3:56:43 PM
I doubt that pumpkinboy would be dumb enough to ac... by J. Edward Tremlett on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 at 7:50:32 AM
July 3, 2009New York TimesBy CHOE SANG-HUNSEOUL, S... by Lawrence Gist on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 at 11:41:34 AM
Evidently you think Leser knows something, as you ... by eric dynamic on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 4:26:04 PM
And I hope you hang around OEN. You comment for m... by GL Rowsey on Monday, Jul 6, 2009 at 4:41:03 PM
Nonsense. Many nations have tested their missi... by Rolland Miller on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 at 12:36:21 PM
With due respect, I really think you are overreact... by Nathan Nahm on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 at 2:35:20 PM
  With due respect, I really think you are... by Nathan Nahm on Thursday, Jul 2, 2009 at 3:26:47 PM
Provide a working link... by eric dynamic on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 4:00:09 PM
They did not "Threaten  us with a WMD attack"... by Bia Winter on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 2:29:14 PM
Traditionally, the author now either defends ... by WML on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 2:48:44 PM
The real answer here is "who cares?"1. If these th... by eric dynamic on Friday, Jul 3, 2009 at 3:45:35 PM
here ... by Steven Leser on Saturday, Jul 4, 2009 at 11:26:56 AM
st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } Person... by William Cormier on Saturday, Jul 4, 2009 at 11:48:41 AM

 

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