How three recent launches signaled new leaps in North Korea's missile capabilities

Pauline Gross
Августа 12, 2017

"Given that Japan's deterrence is enhanced by both [Japan's defense capability and the USA striking ability], we can't say that there is no possibility that the absence of the USA side's offensive power would constitute a situation threatening Japan's survival", Onodera said Thursday morning during off-session Diet deliberations at the House of Representatives' Committee on Security. "Strategically, it's a flawless spot".

"Certainly we watch what's happening with some concern", said Alaska Gov. Bill Walker. "Can you explain that to me?"

Their analysis deviates from an anonymously sourced Defense Intelligence Agency report published in The Washington Post earlier this week suggesting that the North Koreans have miniaturized atomic bombs that their rockets could loft into the United States.

Boeing's (BA) Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system is created to intercept ballistic missiles in midcourse flight.

The Patriot deployment is expected to be completed by Saturday morning, although Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said more PAC-3 batteries might be deployed if the situation warrants.

While tensions with North Korea have taken a bite out of the stock market, defense stocks are benefiting.

"I'm glad that the President has come to the table to join the House in calling for an increase to defense spending", Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner told CNN. If they do nothing, and allow the North Korean missiles to fly unharmed, it's unclear how Pyongyang would interpret it.

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The final spending total for missile defense will have to be reconciled with the Senate appropriations committee, which has not put together its defense spending bill yet.

The United States and Japan have commenced a joint military training with more than 3,500 troops following unending war threats by North Korea.

In a separate statement attached to the article, Postol, an expert in ballistic missile defense, stated that while existing ballistic missile defenses "will never work reliably", there is still time to develop a defense system with available US technology. Trump would have no choice but to respond to that direct threat in kind.

Postol is professor of science, technology and national security policy at MIT who has advised the Pentagon and Congress on missile-related defense projects.

She said the Trump budget request "adds funding for the homeland missile defense system, including the missile detection radars, improving the interceptor missiles, enhancing the sensors that find the incoming missiles in space, and boosting efforts to enable one interceptor to kill multiple incoming objects".

"It's a very serious topic for sure, and it can be scary, but you know, if it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen", she says.

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