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North Korea-What Are The U.S. Options In Dealing With North Korea’s Nuclear And ICBM Ambitions To Attack The U.S. With Nuclear Weapons?

ArmchairPolitiicianNorthKorea, April 22, 2017, by Brad Peery, ArmchairPolitician.US

North Korea recently launched a medium range missile that failed, but another recent launch of 4 missiles was successfully completed. Preparations appear to be underway for an underground nuclear test at North Korea’s Punggye-re nuclear weapons site, which would be North Korea’s 6th.

King Jong Un has essentially declared war with the U.S. by threatening to launch nuclear weapons on the U.S. We learned from World War II that appeasement does not work. We need to develop a strategy that could remove him from power and eliminate North Korea’s nuclear and ICBM capabilities.

An apparently successful visit of Xi Jinping, China’s leader, to the U.S. has introduced the possibility that China will intervene with North Korea. There appear to be no other options other than direct US intervention in stopping North Korea from developing ICBMs that can deliver nuclear weapons to the US. China has discontinued airline flights to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. China also refused to accept coal shipments from North Korea. Coal is a large export item for North Korea. However, it is questionable whether China will do anything that would destabilize North Korea. If North Korea’s regime were to fail, a Chinese fear could be that millions of poor, starving North Koreans could attempt to cross over the border into China.

The U.S. would like to denuclearized the Korean Peninsula. It would also like to see South Korea acquire North Korea. This would put South Korea, a robust democracy, on the border with China and its dictatorship. The U.S. has about 30,000 troops in South Korea, and U.S. special forces could be deployed in North Korea to secure their nuclear weapons.

North Korea and Iran are partners and Syria has expressed solidarity with North Korea. North Korea could be a pathway for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. North Korea has threatened to use nuclear weapons, if attacked by the U.S.

Although the U.S. has said the military option is a low priority, we are deploying the Carl Vinson fleet to the area. This introduces cruise missiles as possible weapons, or even submarine launched nuclear weapons. We have also used the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) in Afghanistan against ISIS. This is the type of weapon that might be used to destroy North Korean nuclear test facilities.

Additionally, we have deployed a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), missile defense system to South Korea, increasing the tensions with China. China is worried that the THAAD radars might be used for surveillance of China.

The US delivered the THAAD to South Korea in March, 2017. It should be operational by the summer. THAADs are ground-based missile defense systems, designed to destroy medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. They are mobile, and are mounted on armored vehicles. A THAAD has four main elements: A radar unit that tracks objects; A truck-mounted launcher that fires interceptors, and can be reloaded quickly; Interceptors themselves (eight to a launcher); And, a digital controller that runs the launcher and coordinates communication and data flow between the THAAD and command centers. THAADs target missiles on the way down, or in their terminal phase, but at a high enough altitude that the collision doesn’t cause harm on the ground. From a defense standpoint, the fear is that a THAAD might be overwhelmed by a multiple missile launch by North Korea.

ArmchairPolitician.US Opinion: The development of nuclear weapons and Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) by North Korea are the greatest threat facing the U.S. There do not seem to be any good options, other than perhaps China, to deal with them. How this develops will be extremely important to the U.S., and our troops in South Korea. Japan and South Korea are also in grave danger, although the THAAD provides some protection.

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