Japanese intelligence officials have told the US that North Korea plans to launch a long-range missile towards Hawaii in early July, possibly on July 4th, American Independence Day and also the anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il’s father. The missile, thought to be the same model of Taepodong-2 that North Korea test fired earlier this year, has a 4,000-mile range, putting the Hawaiian Islands 500 miles out of range. The Daily Mail has the map:
Hawaii may lie just outside the range of North Korea for now, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates has prudently ordered missile interceptors to the island chain. At the same time, US forces track a North Korean ship hugging the Chinese coast that may be carrying nuclear weapons and missiles, although it’s not clear what actions could be taken against it as the UN resolution regarding this threat amazingly forces navies to ask permission before coming aboard. Yes, I’m sure North Korea will gladly let American sailors onboard to confiscate their contraband arsenal. Good thinkin’ there, UN.
With all the recent worries over Iran and North Korea, you have to wonder if President Obama regrets downplaying their significance on the camapign trail by calling them “tiny countries” compared to the former Soviet Union. You have to wonder if any of his supporters are realizing the sheer naivete of that statement. North Korea has been more bellicose in the last few months than it has for several years prior, and it makes you wonder if Kim Jong Il’s regime is sensing a lack of will on foreign policy matters from the new administration.
In any case, no matter how imminent a threat you believe North Korea to be (and that includes the insane dictator giving his weapons to terrorists), how much longer are we going to be able to laugh off that country’s almost theatrical belligerence? If a country deliberately launches weapons at one of our 50 states, what more do they have to do before we take them seriously? The days of North Korea as a trumped-up threat are coming quickly to a close, and it ought to be increasingly clear that no amount of negotiation, which has already failed, will deter a nation set at playing a dangerous game of chicken with the United States.