Hagel Says U.S. Won’t Remain Idle as North Korea Seeks Nuclear ICBM

I was glad to see this GSN article today. Here’s an excerpt:

“The United States will not stand by while North Korea seeks to develop a nuclear-armed missile that can target the United States,” Hagel said in remarks at the annual Shangri-la regional security forum in Singapore.

Officially, the U.S. government does not believe Pyongyang has yet acquired the ability to make nuclear warheads small enough to be fixed to a ballistic missile. However, at least one U.S. intelligence branch suspects the North has that capacity.

“The United States has been clear that we will take all necessary steps to protect our homeland and our allies from dangerous provocations, including significantly bolstering our missile defense throughout the Pacific,” Hagel said.

In response to the North’s growing nuclear and missile capabilities, the Pentagon announced it would strengthen the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system by fielding an additional 14 long-range ballistic missile interceptors in Alaska. Following Pyongyang’s threats earlier this spring that it could carry out nuclear missile strikes on South Korea and the United States, the U.S. military repositioned its Sea-Based X-band radar in order to better detected any possible missile launches, fielded to Guam a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, and moved U.S. warships armed with Aegis antimissile systems closer to the Korean Peninsula.

Its good to see this kind of language being used about the growing North Korean nuclear threat, that I’ve written about a number of times here. And I’m glad to see these missile defense measures being strengthened. I think this is a prudent response to the threat, and a first step in the right direction.

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2 Comments on “Hagel Says U.S. Won’t Remain Idle as North Korea Seeks Nuclear ICBM”

  1. Bibi Jon says:

    One hopes “significantly bolstering our missile defense throughout the Pacific” will not be interpreted by Russia and China as directed against strategic missile forces. Because, Russian & Chinese perceived need for countermeasures will amount to a greater threat to the US than North Korea does.

    I wonder if all the escalatory militarization does not have a far cheaper more effective alternative.

    William deB. Mills:

    “Skill, patience, consistency, logic, and understanding go a long way toward the design of an effective foreign policy. These attributes – perhaps obvious but frequently in short supply among foreign policy decision-makers – build a much firmer policy foundation than rude and emotional outbursts, erratic challenges, public bullying, contemptuous disdain, or efforts to isolate and demonize.”

    • fafnir says:

      No doubt just as the us learned to live with russian and chinese missiles targeting its cities it will learn to live with the dprks missiles as well,after all its not like it really has any choice in the matter now does it


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