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  • Morning Bell: North Korea Threatens with Successful Missile Launch

    North Korea successfully launched a missile early Wednesday—a big step toward achieving the capability to hit targets in the United States.

    Under the transparent public cover story of a satellite launch, North Korea tested a missile that is the same as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Even though the missile was not armed, the launch violates U.N. Security Council resolutions.

    And the country has been claiming that it is close to arming this type of missile with a nuclear warhead that could reach U.S. territory.

    Bruce Klingner, Heritage’s Senior Research Fellow for Northeast Asia, wrote this morning that “The international community must take firm action against North Korea’s provocative act.”

    The U.N. Security Council will consult on the launch today, and Klingner says the U.S. should submit a new resolution that “allows for enforcement by military means. This would enable naval ships to intercept and board North Korean ships suspected of transporting precluded nuclear, missile, and conventional arms, components, or technology.” This would be in addition to other sanctions:

    Washington should lead the charge for more comprehensive international sanctions against Pyongyang as well as the banks, businesses, and countries that facilitate North Korean nuclear and missile proliferation. The U.S. should also work with its allies toward a comprehensive integrated missile defense network in Asia.

    As Klingner notes, coordinating the response with the United Nations will be a challenge for Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., who has been in the hot seat since her media appearances on the Benghazi terrorist attack. She has been rumored a favorite of President Obama’s for Secretary of State in his second term. One of Rice’s main problems will be the Administration’s China policy, Klingner explains, because “Beijing has been the principal roadblock to meaningful action. China blocked any meaningful U.N. action in 2010 in response to North Korea’s two acts of war against South Korea and Pyongyang’s unveiling of a uranium enrichment facility.”

    North Korea’s aggression should drive home the necessity of robust missile defense systems for the U.S. and South Korea. Klingner says:

    The United States should encourage South Korea to deploy a multilayered missile defense system. This system should be interoperable with a U.S. regional missile network to provide for a more coherent and effective defense of allied military facilities and the South Korean populace. The U.S. should also encourage Seoul to engage in trilateral missile defense cooperation and exercises with the U.S. and Japan.

    >>> 33 Minutes: The time it could take for a missile to hit the U.S.

    The international community will be watching closely. While the missile launch was timed to mark important dates in North Korea—the December 17 anniversary of the death of previous leader Kim Jong-il and the ascension to power of new leader Kim Jong-un—it will also have broad effects in the region, as both Japan and South Korea have national elections in just a few days.

    It is clear that the young leader Kim Jong-un is taking an aggressive stance toward the rest of the world. The international response should be just as clear.


    North Korean Missile Launch Challenges U.S. Foreign Policy by Bruce Klingner

    Quick Hits:

    • President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) are trading secret offers on the fiscal cliff.
    • “In a major win for Second Amendment rights, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Illinois’s virtual ban on the carrying of any guns, whether concealed or otherwise,” reports Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky.
    • “18 Democrat senators and senators-elect have asked for ‘a delay in the implementation’ of the Obamacare medical device tax,” according to Americans for Tax Reform.
    • The Small Business Optimism Index, based on a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, plummeted in November.
    • What does it mean when the U.S. trade deficit increases? Heritage’s Bryan Riley explains.
    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Morning Bell: North Korea Threatens with Successful Missile Launch

    1. Michael Cook says:

      And just what is the UN Security Council going to do about this? "You better stop it!" "We really mean it this time" In other words not a d__mn thing!

    2. Since when has a liberal president ever took strong action against aggression from rogue regimes?

    3. Anthony Bruno says:

      It is time for Heritage to publicize how North Korea gained the technology
      to launch these rockets?
      If it can be proven…please let the public know there is a direct connection
      to the sale of this technology by Loral to China…thanks to the relaxing of
      such sales. The poison of political contributions appears to be the reason.

    4. PaulE says:

      Don't hold your breath waiting for this administration to take any sort of hard-line stance against North Korea. It's not going to happen. Haven't you read the memos about "leading from behind" and "America is no more exceptional than say Great Britain"? It's all about consensus building in the U.N. now, which means nothing much is going to happen. At least not until North Korea decides to "test fire" one of those nuclear-armed missiles against a country. If that country is us, there will be frantic phone calls from the White House to North Korea offering more concessions in exchange for whatever their dear leader wants at the moment. After all, we must have done something to provoke him. At least that will be the view from the White House.

    5. @IAMPCBob says:

      Don't these people know how small North Korea is, in the overall scheme of things? All it will take is one phone call and NK will be history! America HAS cut back on their ICBM inventory, but there are still enough in our arsenal to wipe them off the face of the earth! Are they all insane? One must wonder.

      • PaulE says:

        If Obama has his way, by the end of his second term we may not have any ICBMs left. After all, he's offered to unilaterally disarm to show the world the United States is willing to atone for its perceived sins. Remember his little off the cuff remark to Putin about "flexibility". Elections sometimes have grave consequences.

    6. This is definitely pushing the envelope. I doubt Obame will do anything but talk and sanctions. We have had some sort of sanctions on North Korea for over 60 years. They in the end result have slowed down this regime but have not solved the problem.

    7. Wayne Peterkin says:

      Yet, the Obama administration advocated unilateral U.S. disarmament of much of our nuclear deterrent and has been less than enthusiastic about developing and deploying a bigger and better missile defense shield. The world is an increasingly dangerous place yet our government seems dedicated to weakening us. Scary.

    8. Jim says:

      Oooh, UN sanctions? wow I bet the N. Koreans are shaking in their boots, NOT.

    9. tom says:

      Once again, N.K., laughs in ours and everyones face, and does what they want. They know as usuaL, nothing will be done except point the finger at them and pretend we are all upset over this, and then we wait to do it all over again next time. Maybe we should DO something to stop them, before it's too late.

    10. Augie Campagna says:

      We need a President that will stand up to North Korea. The only problem we have is where and when are we going to get that president. We surely don;t have one now in nWashinggton that will stand up to them.

    11. Fred Pechin says:

      Pull all money we give to them as a first step. Second put pressure on China.

    12. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Correct me if I'm wrong. There's no peace treaty between the United Nations, (the United States and its allies),
      and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, (North Korea), is there? No, there isn't. It's just an armistice.
      The Korean War still goes on. It hasn't heated up___yet. Now the North Koreans are planning on doing another
      underground nuke test to see if they can put a warhead on that new successfully launched missile. Who'd want it? Iran. Who else? Syria, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Why? If North Korea, Iran, Syria, and their proxies, get nukes,
      they could launch them at us.

    13. awkingsley says:

      The U.S. has an excellent missile defense system. What we do not have are the Defense Systems that Israel has, the Iron Dome and the Arrow 3 Defense Systems. Those defense systems thwart scud missiles, rockets, and artillery fire (mortars). As we come into more and more conflict with China and Russia, we badly need to arm our country against a land invasion. How many nukes have been shot at anyone? None that we know of. Every country is afraid of shooting off nukes for fear of being nuked themselves. Nukes are primarily a status symbol. Land invasions are what Americans need to defend against. Most of our soldiers and bases are somewhere else besides the U.S., and our defense system leaves us open to all of the devastation of a land invasion. Call and write your Congressman asking him to upgrade U.S. defenses to the Iron Dome and Arrow 5 Defense Systems that Israel has. Israel even protects our U.S. bases in the Middle East.

    14. clark says:

      Kim Jong Ill knows how weak obama is and will do as he pleases. Besides, obama openly admires dictators who can do anything they want without any compromise or input from his pesky citizenry. Just don't expect anything meaningful from obama…

    15. PaulE says:

      By the way, while everyone is focused on North Korea, don't forget that Iran is watching the world's reaction to North Korea as well. It will quickly determine that it faces no real military threat from either the world community or the United States' administration. The existing economic sanctions, while hurting the people of Iran, do little to force Iran's leadership to abandon their dreams of nuclear weapons and a broader say in world affairs. So Iran will continue to weaponize as much uranium as it wants, while stalling the rest of the world with empty talks.

    16. Oh goody, let's play war on American soil. :P

    17. DJ9138 says:

      The way to live in peace is to ELIMINATE your enemies! You eliminate them before they have a change to eliminate you! The sooner we realize that, the better we'll be!

    18. William Tracey says:

      Interesting that they should make that launch now, since they supposedly had set back the launch until sometime in January because of technical difficulties, which our ("Intelligence people") confirmed. I think we need to get some intelligent people working there.

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