As North Korea becomes increasingly belligerent, the United States must tread softly in its approach to foreign policy.
North Korea was behind the vicious Sony hacks, and allegedly an actor in the recent “WannaCry” malware attack.
Now it appears North Korea’s missile-launch capabilities are taking incremental steps.
North Korea alleges its latest missile tested has the capacity of delivering a nuclear warhead.
North Korea state news agency KCNA reported Monday that the Hwasong-12 missile tested Sunday was “capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead.”
The missile test was supervised by Kim Jong Un and “aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead.”
Missile experts initially thought the rogue communist regime had tested a new type of intermediate-range ballistic missile, but U.S. officials told Fox News that is not the assessment from the U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Strategic Command.
A U.S. official told Fox News the missile splashed down about 60 miles south of Russia’s Vladivostok region and approximately 250 miles from Japanese shores.
Physicist David Wright, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists Global Security Program, said that though the missile only traveled for 700km, it flew at an unusually high altitude and reached an apogee of 2,000km. That means that if it flew at a normal trajectory it would have a maximum range of 4,500km – putting Guam, 3,400 miles from North Korea, in its range.
Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” said Kim Jong Un’s attitude needs to change before President Trump would consider meeting with him.
“What we’re going to do is continue to tighten the screws. He feels it. He absolutely feels it. And we’re going to continue, whether it’s sanctions, whether it’s press statements, anything that we have to do.
“Having a missile test is not the way to sit down with the president, because he’s absolutely not going to do it. And I can tell you, he can sit there and say all the conditions he wants, until he meets our conditions, we’re not sitting down with him.”
The United Nations said Sunday it will hold closed “consultations on North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test” Tuesday afternoon.
North Korea is one of the most oppressive regimes on the planet–they have modern-day concentration camps–and diplomatic efforts have failed in the past; Bill Clinton’s 1994 deal with North Korea merely delayed the expansion of their nuclear program.
The situation with North Korea is far from ideal. A military conflict with them would certainly be disastrous for western ally South Korea, who has North Korean rockets aimed at them.
Currently, the best course of action appears to be sanctions and lukewarm rhetoric that won’t trigger the foolish bravado of Dictator Kim Jong-un.