North Korea fires ballistic missile

Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 13 February 2017, 00:40 hrs, UTC, Post #111.


Accessed on 13 February 2017, 00:45 hrs, UTC.

Please click link to read the BBC-supplied story.


According to South Korean sources, the North Korean ballistic missile was fired on Sunday, 12 February 2017, towards the Sea of Japan.  During his state visit to Washingon, D.C., Japanese Prime Minister Abe told President Donald Trump that the launch of the missile “was absolutely intolerable.”

For his part, President Trump softened his hard line toward Japan by saying the U.S. “stands behind it great ally Japan 100%.”  Mr. Trump added that he was committed to “further defending our alliance.”

According to the BBC, the North Korean missile launch could be the opening salvo in testing U.S. resolve in Asia:

“South Korea’s foreign ministry said that “North Korea’s repeated provocations show the Kim Jong-un regime’s nature of irrationality, maniacally obsessed in its nuclear and missile development”.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga confirmed the missile had not reached Japanese territorial waters, adding that Tokyo would make a “strong protest” to North Korea over the incident.

There has so far been no comment from North Korea.

On a visit to South Korea last week, US Defence Secretary James Mattis said that any use of nuclear weapons by North Korea would be met with an “effective and overwhelming” response.

He also reconfirmed plans to deploy a US missile defence system in South Korea later this year.

North Korea conducted its fifth test of a nuclear device last year, and claims it is capable of carrying out a nuclear attack on the US, though experts are still unconvinced that its technology has progressed that far.”


Although North Korea hasn’t launched a fully capable, long-range ballistic missile toward Japan or the United States, Sunday’s test firing did reach a range of 300 miles (500 kilometers), indicating that North Korea is meeting the engineering standards needed for such a missile.  Whether Mr. Trump will respond with diplomacy or a show of military force is not known at this time. If the North Korea missile program continues to enjoy a step-by-step progression in range,Hawaii, Alaska, and parts of the West Coast of the United States could be under a nuclear threat.  There are several ways the United States could respond without attacking the xenophobic North Korean regime. Among the preferred choices would be to ask the Peoples Republic of China to restrain their client state.  Of course, China then could ask for a quid pro quo in exchange for squashing North Korean military ambitions. A military response to the North Korean missile program could also provoke China into retaliating economically or militarily against the U.S.  No matter which way the diplomatic winds blow, most of the winning cards will be on the Chinese table.  Hopefully, China will try to calm her restless, unpredictable client without shots being fired.  This could be an interesting week.

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Until next time,

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest


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