Kim's Celebration on our Fourth!

by AMBASSADOR HENRY F. COOPER July 6, 2017

Conventional wisdom has held that it will be years before North Korea can threaten the United States with a nuclear attack. That judgment is quite wrong as again illustrated in Tuesday's early morning hours when North Korea conducted its reported 13th ballistic missile test this year - this time from a mobile missile launcher on a trajectory that, if straightened out, some experts claim could reach Alaska. Actually the threat is even much greater and more imminent than that.

The press was full of press accounts of the North Korean test, about which Kim Jong Un immediately claimed achieved an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) range capability.  For example, click here, here, here, here and here for a taste of the U.S reporting - and here, here and here for a taste of international reporting. Notably, every one of these reports underestimated the implications of this test for the threat, as our regular readers should understand.  And they are silent on the implications of the test for the threat from North Korea's ally, Iran.

Some quoted technical experts indicated that this demonstrated capability could threaten Alaska, e.g., see the following Washington Post figure from David Wright's Blog illustrating why he was one of those experts.

But all ignored the reality that previous North Korea testing had already demonstrated it could hold at risk our soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in and around South Korea, in Guam and, I believe, perhaps even Hawaii. Moreover, if even one of North Korea's existing nuclear weapons was detonated high above any of these targeted areas, the resulting electromagnetic pulse (EMP) would cause major chaos, resulting in major loss of life and returning those beneath that burst to a reality not unlike that of the North Korean countryside. 

Click here for our discussion of this reality in our June 13th message, not even a month ago, and it linked to my Wall Street Journal article published exactly one month ago. Both observed that no new technology is required to execute such an EMP attack - no reentry vehicle is needed for North Korea to execute this catastrophic attack delivered above the Earth's atmosphere. 

Moreover, bear in mind that North Korea has for years orbited satellites that could carry such nuclear weapons - and they regularly travel South-to-North over the United States. Our homeland ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems are poorly prepared to counter such threats, though we have the technology to make needed improvements - without further research and development. They have been designed to defend against ICBM threats that approach the United States from North-to-South.

North Korea has been at achieving this capability for many years - and our diplomatic strategy and tactics have been an abysmal failure. Click here for a listing of key dates of North Korea's progression since the late 1970s.  And click here for a listing of High Frontier articles dating back to the end of 2012, which include indications of North Korea's threatening capabilities 

And while it is important not to let the shock of yesterday's test wane without serious notice, we should not forget that Iran is not far behind North Korea in gaining this now widely acknowledged threat - if at all.  I presume Iranian scientists and engineers were present at yesterday's test - they usually are.

Click here for my message last week on this important linkage between the "Gruesome Twosome," that began by quoting Jeffrey Lewis, a missile proliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, who aptly observed

"The very first missiles we saw in Iran were simply copies of North Korean missiles . . .  Over the years, we've seen photographs of North Korean and Iranian officials in each other's countries, and we've seen all kinds of common hardware."

Indeed, it is widely reported that Iranian scientists and engineers often are present at North Korean missile and nuclear weapons testing.  And also, North Korean scientist and engineers often travel to Iran. 

These realities are most troubling when considering the implications of the 2015 so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - struck by the Obama administration and five international allies to lift economic sanctions and other financial penalties in exchange for alleged curbs on Iran's nuclear weapons programs. That terrible deal removed over $100 Billion in previous sanctions on Iran making it feasible - nay, probable - that Iran can and will buy from North Korea whatever technological know how and actual weapon systems it needs and cannot produce itself through its ongoing, unabated efforts.

I hope the Trump administration will re-assess its thus far decision to continue to support the terrible deal with Iran (Click here for an April 19, 2017 Reuters article on this decision - a mistake in my opinion.) Candidate Trump, in my opinion, correctly criticized the JCPOA and said he would end it. Even other supporters of the Obama deal say there has been little sign that Iran has moderated its behavior, including the series of ballistic missile tests in recent months that violate U.N. sanctions.

President Trump reportedly has indicated to the Chinese authorities that if they don't reign in Kim Jong Un, he will take care of the North Korean problem.  Click here for the New York Times on that story.

Whatever ... And what about Iran?

Bottom Lines

The threat from North Korea and Iran is imminent.

North Korea's provocative action yesterday is a wake-up call.   But will we wake up - or just roll over and go back to sleep?

And not just to deal with Kim Jong Un, but also the Iranian mullahs.

Hope springs eternal . . .

Stand by . . .

What can you do?

Join us in praying for our nation, and for a rebirth of the freedom sought, achieved and passed to us by those who came before us.

Help us to spread our message to the grass roots and to encourage all "powers that be" to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do.   

Ambassador Henry F. Cooper is Chairman of High Frontier and a former Acquisition Executive for all U.S. ballistic missile defenses.  He also served in several other senior USG acquisition and policy positions, including as President Reagan's Chief Negotiator at the Geneva Defense and Space Talks with the Soviet Union. He is currently focused on helping local, state and federal authorities protect against the natural and manmade EMP threat by building effective ballistic missile defenses and hardening the electric grid. Otherwise, loss of the electric grid would freeze America's "just in time" economy, leaving most Americans without means for survival.

 


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