The North Korean government has been constantly escalating tensions within the international community, having recently test launched an intercontinental missile with a range of 5,000 miles as a message to the United States.
In response, commander of U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula, General Vincent Brooks, gave the North Koreans a frank and dire reminder that the only thing keeping the U.S. and South Korea from taking action at this point is “self-restraint”. (via Politico)
“Self-restraint, which is a choice,” he continues, “is all that separates armistice and war … we are able to change our choice when so ordered by our Alliance national leaders. It would be a grave mistake for anyone to believe anything to the contrary.”
Gen. Brooks gave this dire warning to the North Koreans as a response to the recent missile test, which was a deliberate provocation of the United States. Their leader, Kim Jong-un, said the missile test was intended to “slap the American bastards in their face” and was a Fourth of July “gift package” for the “Yankees.” (via New York Times)
South Korean Defense Minister Kan Min-Koo said that the missile, if launched on a standard trajectory, could have a range of 4,000 to 5,000 miles, which would be enough to hit Alaska or even Hawaii.
The idea of a 21st century, nuclear “Pearl Harbor” is more than disturbing, but military analysts predict that North Korea still needs a few years before it can perfect a nuclear warhead small and light enough that it can be fitted into a long-range rocket. But once such capability has been established, it would destabilize the geopolitical situation in the Yellow Sea.
An immediate emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council has been called in response, and new joint missile drills are being conducted in coordination with U.S. and South Korean forces.
North Korea has been vocal in stating they would never surrender its nuclear program, something that they have been long pursuing against the wishes of the international community.
President Trump has been critical of China for their lack of willingness to do more to pressure North Korea on its nuclear ambitions and is something that the President believes is big enough to justify re-negotiating China’s trade deals as a response to their apathy.
The U.S. secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, issued a warning that any foreign nation that provided economic or military benefits to North Korea was “aiding and abetting a dangerous regime” (via The New York Times)
Nuclear weapons are not the only thing this regime has in its arsenal, as IHS Markit analysts Gabriel Dominguez and Neil Gibson said, “The Communist country is already able to field conventional, chemical and, possibly, nuclear weapons against Seoul and Tokyo. As a result, a danger of increased North Korean military confidence is that raises the risk of increased belligerence.”
As concerning as these developments may be, we can have confidence in our military as well as its leadership that it will do everything in their ability to protect the security of Americans across the globe.