North Korea tested a new type of missile on November 28 that the communist regime’s leader, Kim Jong Un, personally authorized.
“With this system, we can load the heaviest warhead and strike anywhere in the mainland United States,” said Ri Chun Hee, North Korea’s most well-known newsreader, on state television. “This missile is far more technologically advanced than July’s Hwasong-14. This signifies that our rocket development process has been completed.”
During a meeting with congressional leadership on November 28, President Trump said:
As you probably have heard, and some of you have reported, a missile was launched a little while ago from North Korea.
I will only tell you that we will take care of it. We have General Mattis in the room with us, and we've had a long discussion on it. It is a situation that we will handle.
Trump then invited Mattis to comment on the missile launch. Mattis said:
Mr. President, Senator, Speaker, a little over two and a half hours ago, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile. It went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they've taken. It's a research and development effort on their part to continue building ballistic missiles that could threaten everywhere in the world, basically.
And in response, the South Koreans have fired some pinpoint missiles out into the water to make certain North Korea understands that they could be taken under fire by our ally.
But the bottom line is, it’s a continued effort to build a threat — a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace, and certainly, the United States.
The missile was launched on a nearly vertical trajectory, reaching a height of 2,800 miles, and traveled about 620 miles from the launch site before splashing down in waters inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles from its coast. The splashdown site was about 130 miles west of Japan’s largest island of Honshu. Its flight time of 54 minutes was the longest of any North Korean missile so far.
The Washington Post quoted a statement from David Wright, co-director of the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, noting that if the missile had flown on a standard trajectory designed to maximize its reach, it would have had a range of more than 8,100 miles.
“Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, D.C.,” Wright said.
Following the North Korean missile launch, Trump spoke with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China and President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss the ramifications of the action. Speaking with Xi, Trump “emphasized the need for China to use all available levers to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of denuclearization,” stated a White House release.
In his conversation with Moon, the two leaders discussed what their response to North Korea’s missile test should be. The White House release noted, in part: “Both leaders underscored the grave threat that North Korea’s latest provocation poses not only to the United States and the Republic of Korea, but to the entire world.”
A Politico report on November 29 quoted remarks from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stating that “additional sanctions” would be imposed on North Korea “very shortly” in response to Pyongyang’s latest missile tests. “[The president] said earlier today we’re going to continue putting maximum pressure on North Korea and to do it by increasing and adding additional sanctions,” Sanders said during an interview on Fox News.
Trump also spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after the test, reported Britain’s Telegraph.
In a phone call the leaders “agreed to strengthen our deterrence capability against the North Korean threat,” said Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s deputy chief cabinet secretary.
Abe described the North Korean launch as a “violent act” that “can never be tolerated.”
The Telegraph also reported that just hours before the launch, officials in Hawaii announced that for the first time in more than 20 years, civil defense sirens would be tested for 60 seconds at more than 400 locations on the first working day of each month, starting in December.
In the event of a real attack, the sirens would give Hawaiians 12 to 15 minutes of warning before impact. Richard Rapoza, Hawaii’s emergency management spokesman, said: “We stopped using them in the mid-Nineties after the Cold War ended.”
The new siren tests were to be accompanied by public service announcements urging residents to “get inside, stay inside and stay tuned."
Announcing the tests, Rapoza said a single 150-kiloton weapon detonated over Pearl Harbor, on the main island of Oahu, would be expected to kill 18,000 people and injure 120,000.
While it may be prudent for officials to put civil defense measures in place (as they did during the Cold War) to protect civilians in the event of a nuclear attack, it is also wise to take into consideration how likely it is that North Korea would actually carry out such an attack against the United States. Though North Korea is usually portrayed in the media as a “rogue” state, the reality is that the regime is dependent on support from China — the communist nation that our government routinely goes to for assistance, as Trump just did in calling Xi. As The New American’s foreign correspondent Alex Newman noted in his article, “North Korea: Globalist Pawn?”:
Pyongyang’s most important ally, by far, is the communist dictatorship enslaving mainland China. Consider, first, the fact that Beijing continues to ship billions of dollars’ worth of goods to North Korea each year, providing most of its energy and consumption goods.
While our government responds to every North Korean test of a missile or nuclear weapons with a call for increased sanctions, Newman wrote:
Beijing and the UN are fully aware of North Korea’s front companies in China, as is documented in UN reports and even in the globalist-minded establishment media outlets. Indeed, Beijing flagrantly violates the same UN sanctions on North Korea that it ostensibly claims to support as a member of the UN Security Council and has even voted for in the past.
Since the type of sanctions that the U.S. government calls for are invariably imposed by the UN, they amount to an increase in the UN’s prestige and influence. We must recall the disastrous consequence the last time the United States became enmeshed in a UN operation against North Korea, during the Korean War.
The best response to North Korea’s weapons programs is to take a unilateral approach that relies neither on the UN nor China for support. We can impose our own sanctions, which should consist of refraining from trade not only with North Korea, but with any nation that trades with Pyongyang, China being the prime example. We should also put in place the best anti-missile defense system we can build, as a further deterrent to North Korea’s threats.
Image of North Korean missile: Screenshot of YouTube video produced by Korean Central television