North Korea’s latest missile test and Trump’s response has sparked talks of war once again
On Tuesday Pyongyang conducted their first intercontinental ballistic missile test in over two months
President Donald Trump responded to the test by claiming the United States “will handle” Pyongyang
Hawaii is reinstating a Second World War-style missile warning system at the beginning of next month
While President Donald Trump has exhibited more bark than bite with issues ranging from imprisoning to Hillary Clinton to a military intervention with the rogue nation of North Korea, tensions are high following Pyongyang’s latest missile test on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s test ended over two months without any weapons test from Pyongyang. Trump responded by telling reporters at the White House on Tuesday the United States “will handle” Pyongyang. He went on to say, “We will take care of it,” North Korea “is a situation that we will handle.”
It is believed that Pyongyang fired another intercontinental ballistic missile from Sain Ni, North Korea. The missile traveled about 1,000 kilometers before crashing into the Sea of Japan. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said that Tuesday’s test went “higher, frankly, than any previous shot they have taken.”
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America, our territories or our allies.
The Guardian reported, “David Wright, a physicist and missile expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists calculated that on a normal trajectory, rather than a high lofted one, the missile would have a range of 13,000 km, enough to reach Washington, the rest of the US west coast, Europe or Australia.”
Minutes after Pyongyang’s test, the South Korean joint chiefs of staff announced Seoul carried out a drill with a “precision strike” missile as display the country could give an immediate response to an attack from the North.
On Monday, the deputy Russian foreign minister suggested to reporters that Pyongyang’s lack of weapon testing for the last two months were a sign they are ready to diffuse tensions.
I think North Korea’s restraint for the past two months is within the simultaneous freeze roadmap.
With a 50 minute flight time, Tuesday’s test appears to have been a major ICBM test, “possibly in operations,” according to Adam Mount, a senior at Federation of American Scientists. Mount went on to say this latest test should “disabuse US officials from thinking military displays, sanctions, or threats are deterring North Korean tests.”
Second World War-Style Missile Warning System
Beginning next month, Hawaii will be reinstating a Second World War-style missile warning system. The sirens have not been tested since the Cold War but will utilize current technology used to warn of an approaching hurricane or tsunami.
Along with bringing back the missile warning system, there are educational programs teaching residents how to respond to a nuclear attack. Television and radio announcements, along with public meetings, are arranged to educate the 1.4 million population how to react in the event of an attack.
It is believed a missile from North Korea could hit Hawaii within twenty minutes of being launched. Even though US anti-missile systems protect Hawaii, in a worse case scenario, twenty minutes is not much time to react.
War Of Words
While Trump and Kim Jong-un have not tried to conceal their feelings for each other, the verbal pissing match and rogue weapon tests may not mean the two countries are heading for an immediate war.
At the end of September, America issued more US sanctions against North Korea, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited China which began restricting trade and financial ties with Pyongyang upon America’s request. China also supported two rounds of UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea. As reported in the Atlantic, these actions do not support the idea that the two countries are on the verge of an apocalyptic nuclear battle.
Those are steps you take when you retain hope that diplomatic isolation and economic deprivation will compel Kim Jong Un’s regime to accept a negotiated settlement of the nuclear standoff.
It is believed that if we were at war’s doorstep, we would be likely see something new, such as evacuating American civilians, military family members, non-essential personnel from South Korea. With over 100,000 Americans in the area, seeing an evacuation would suggest war is imminent.
As of late September, Abe Denmark, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia under Barack Obama, claimed the actions of Pyongyang’s military did not matching the governments escalating threats. At that time, there was no “change in the posture of North Korean forces.”