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  • The Very Real North Korea Nuclear Missile Threat

    The Washington Post has changed the headline on their North Korea story today from “North Korean Nuclear Test A Growing Possibility” to “North Korean Missile Test a Growing Possibility.” At least they didn’t adopt the official North Korea government line and call it a civilian satellite test.

    But the rest of the WaPo story remains unedited and the highlights underscore how real the threat of a nuclear and ballistic missile empowered North Korea is:

    While North Korea has been making missiles to intimidate its neighbors for nearly half a century, what makes this launch particularly worrying is the increasing possibility — as assessed by U.S. intelligence and some independent experts — that it has built or is attempting to build nuclear warheads small enough to fit atop its growing number of missiles.

    North Korea “may be able to successfully mate a nuclear warhead to a ballistic missile,” Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said this month in testimony prepared for the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    David Albright, a physicist and nuclear weapons expert who runs the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, has written that North Korea is “likely able to build a crude nuclear warhead” for its midrange missiles that target Japan.

    WaPo on the official North Korea position:

    North Korea says it plans to put a communications satellite into orbit, but that claim is widely viewed as a pretext for testing an intercontinental ballistic missile, the Taepodong-2. The U.S. director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told a Senate committee that a three-stage missile of this type, if it works, could strike the continental United States.

    Even long time missile defense critic Theodore Postol acknolwedges the threat is real:

    North Korea’s test of a nuclear device in 2006 produced such a small explosion that it was probably only a partial success, according to Theodore Postol, a professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Postol estimates that it is possible for North Korea to make a warhead that is small and light enough to be mounted on a Nodong missile, which has a diameter of about four feet and can carry a payload of about 2,200 pounds. “It would be a very inefficient way to use a weapon,” he said. “But if you are desperate enough, I think such a weapon would certainly have deterrent capability. Tokyo is a large enough target to be relatively sure that a non-full-yield weapon would still cause tremendous death and destruction.

    Learn more at 33 Minutes.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to The Very Real North Korea Nuclear Missile Threat

    1. MAS1916 - Denver, CO says:

      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's characterization of a North Korean missile launch as "provocative" will only serve to embolden the Stalinist state. Such a weak response sends a message not only to our potential adversaries, it sends another message to Japan and South Korea – stalwart allies.

      If the US is not committed to using its technological advantage to destroy the missile in flight, the message sent to our allies will be that we are not willing to help in their defense. Obama's weak talk and then talk some more methodology will give North Korea, Iran and others, time it needs to build up a nuclear arsenal. Japan must understand this and be willing to take over it's own self defense.

      For more, see: http://firstconservative.com/blog

    2. John Phillips Plains says:

      When the righteous do not stand up there is a fall and the ungodly will take over. We must threated or even distroy any nation that is out to distroy another especialy if the taget is America. Does the American Government have a back bone or have they sold out their spin, to their own greed and desires? We must stand against evil or it will stomp all over us. I choose to stand up. The government should work for the people not the people for the government.

      Truly, John Phillips

    3. P. Walk Manistique, says:

      It is my contention there is much going on behind the scenes. N. Korea is like a little kid misbehaving to get attention. I believe this is why Sec. Gates downplayed the crises by stating something to effect of: "we can't do anything about it!". This type of response by Sec Gates was clearly designed to take the wind of N. Korea's sails. However, watch out S. Korea and Japan are not that easily convinced. That may be the response N. Korea awaits, and may pay a heavy price for it.

    4. Bryan Erion Sun Lake says:

      If North Korea attemps to shot off a missle. Our U. S. Navy should shot it down. It is time the United States shows other countries we our serious about protecting our allies and our country.

    5. charles, wyoming.usa says:

      perhaps washington will wake-up to a nice firery red glow on the horizion, and then GOD willing they'll admit they sold the bill of goods on all of america. Traitors.

    6. R. Criscione says:

      Our nation is in serious trouble. I was abord the first navel ship in history to knock a talos missel out of the sky! That was in 1978, we had the best people ever. No nation can ever match what AMERICANS CAN DO! However we have been infected with the OBAMA BUG. Cowards will be cowards we must stand together regardless of the MEDIA,and agenda of the left.Dont keep silent we can make it out of this. The time will come to march on Washington, my brothes I will be there we must not let BHO take our freedom . Robin NEW JERSEY

    7. Ed Herrmann--Fort Be says:

      The question of how we deal with North Korea has not changed in the last 59 years, and finding a clear answer has proved to be difficult. That’s because there is no positive scenario on how any conflict with North Korea will turn out. North Korea’s missile capabilities will continue to grow without any outside intervention. This poses the question of what are our intervention options. While there are many, I believe that the following three are the most viable.

      • Clearly define a US response and then follow through actually enforcing it. This will begin a precedence of “we mean what we say.” The response or threat may vary from economic to military. This may spark an unintended outcome that may not be tolerable by the American public.

      • Continue to invest in a missile defense program. The financial cost may be high but it will no doubt be much less expensive than a military engagement on the Korean peninsula. The other benefit is that it can be used as a bargaining tool against other would be foes.

      • Leverage China’s desire to be a strong international player and their influence over North Korea. Force them to take ownership of issues in their region. Differences in political ideology do not outweigh China’s craving for Western investment and the purchase of their products.

      Some may question, why not maximize efforts in the United Nations? Unfortunately, the only time the UN has acted decisively against North Korea was immediately after North Korea’s invasion into South Korea in the summer of 1950. This was in large part due to the Soviet Union not fully understanding the rules in the UN.

      The views in this response only represent the writer and not any organization or institution that he may be affiliated with.

    8. lincon ne says:

      All I know is that as a human race….we should avoid a world war 3 at all cost. Everybody has weapons and we would destroy this planet if everybody started launching missiles at each other, I just don't think the earth can take anymore abuse. North Korea is growing bolder with advancing their technologies and weapons, and at some point they will have to be dealt with. I just hope the earth doesn't have to meet it's demise because of it.

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