Wednesday morning, North Korea launched a medium-range missile, the KN-15 (previously known as the Polaris-2) into the Japan Sea, predictably and provocatively to show bravado prior to the upcoming meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week. A calculated miscalculation by the insecurity of the North Korean leader, who fears his destiny as a nuclear power and regime is out of his control.
This is the 7th ballistic missile test this year alone and the 7th ballistic missile test during President Donald Trump’s new Administration and the 48th since January 2016, and has further resolved and permanently shifted the United States to break the precedence of the previous three U.S. Presidential Administrations to directly confront China and hold them personally responsible with real consequences of bringing the “Big Stick” to North Korea if China does not resolve the North Korean nuclear ballistic missile problem.
Part of the U.S. “Big Stick” will be to bring more capacity and capability of its U.S. missile defense inventory and systems into this region, to the Peninsula and Japan. This core surging of missile defense capability into the region enables greater flexibility and more viable options on North Korea, while providing protection and defense of the populations in the Republic of Korea and Japan.
North Korea will now live with the upcoming consequences it does not control.
The United States will look to activate the AN/TPY-2 radar of the THAAD battery being deployed into Osan Air Force Base and bring in more capacity of interceptors on its ships, on its patriot batteries, and on the two THAAD batteries in Guam and ROK which will include additional launchers, surge additional patriot batteries on the Peninsula, and more Aegis BMD Ships in the region. Japan for self-survival, stability and national security of its population during this crisis with North Korea, which has been demonstrating its capability to strike Japan, must move to look at requesting a U.S. THAAD battery for additional defense of Tokyo and move forward with a long-term decision of acquiring Aegis Ashore sites throughout its country.
The declaration of IOC and ramped up production of the SM-3 Block IA will be a critical asset required for the region and Hawaii. For U.S. homeland defense, the emergency operational activation of the Aegis Ashore site, to include the AN/TPY-2 radar at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Hawaii for the better defense of Hawaii and increase the capacity of GBIs and silos at Fort Greely, Alaska will be the short term available fixes that should be implemented by the President and his National Security team.
President Trump’s administration is planning a review of the nation’s ballistic missile defense, the chief of US Strategic Command stated yesterday STRATCOM Commander Gen. John Hyten, at the Senate Armed Services Committee. General Hyten stated the review has not begun yet and will likely be based on specific recommendations from the Missile Defense Agency. General Hyten said he hopes in the future to see a reliable kill vehicle, with better sensors and a space-based layer with additional capacity to protect the U.S.
Secretary of State Rex Tilerson stated it best, inferring that the U.S. intent and the capability of the “Big Stick” is in place while providing China the respect and opportunity to solve the problem.
“North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile. The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.” Secretary of State Rex Tilerson April 5th, 2017.
Members of the U.S. Senate have also urged President Trump to expedite the deployment of THAAD to South Korea. In the letter, signed by 26 senators, the senators wrote “While China continues to aggressively oppose a missile defense system on the Korean Peninsula, China has done little to slow or halt North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs – the only reason the system is needed.”
North Korea has greatly miscalculated its power and will now live with the upcoming consequences it does not control.