Thursday, June 18, 2009


Remember my post on June 3? The one that speculated about North Korea's increasing friskiness on the missile front?

Kim Jong Il has apparently gone completely fruit loops and plans to share his toys with Hawaii, the birthplace of President Barack "I'm Bullish on Foreign Affairs" Obama. The Taepodong-2 missile with a range of about 4,000 miles -- see above -- may be getting a test-drive on July 4th.

MailOnline recounts an article in Japan's top newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, that details unconfirmed American and Japanese intelligence reports concerning another looming test of the long-range missile; Hawaii, Guam, and Okinawa were all thought to be potential targets at first. Intelligence officials now believe, however, that Hawaii is the only target because previous failures of NK missiles suggest that their new toy might fizzle and drop into China's territorial waters if they aim at Guam or Okinawa. Ol' Kimbo probably doesn't want to stir up the Beijing hornets nest quite yet.

There's also a NK vessel steaming around the China Sea that's suspected of transporting nuclear materials of some sort. It's being "monitored" pursuant to U.N resolution -- the resolution that requires a "mother-may-I-come-aboard" before conducting an inspection of a suspect vessel.
The U.N. is on the case -- now that gives me peace of mind. All together now, sternly, and wagging a finger: "Provocative actions will not be tolerated." Oooh, the authority! It just makes you shake in your boots, doesn't it?

So, although Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General James Cartwright, advises that North Korea poses no significant threat to the United States for another 3 to 5 years or so, it's looking like Hawaii could experience a big ol' fireworks show next month. For free.

Secretary of Defense Gates has expressed confidence that we are in a good position to protect U.S. soil with a mobile missile defense system, but he would have "some concerns" if NK launched a missile aimed at Hawaii. I would be more worried if the SecDef didn't have "some concerns" if a rogue nation, developing nuclear capability and led by a mentally unbalanced kook, opened fire on our island paradise, so that's one positive. But his boss, on defense? Apologies and negotiation without pre-condition don't go too far in deflecting an incoming.

And North Korea could be a threat to the U.S. west coast in 3 to 5 years?!?! Paring the budget deficit by chopping missile defense is starting to look like a really bad plan.

So does planning a trip to Hawaii.

1 comment:

  1. With regard to your comment about protecting Hawaii... or any other place in the US... with MOBILE anti-missile systems -- that's all well and good when the Norks give us notice, ain't it? I'm thinking the mullahs may not be as polite, nor will Dear Leader be so in future. Point being, of course, that missile defense was a big loser in this year's DoD budget go-round. Just as we were working out the technical bugs, too. Sad, and potentially catastrophic.