Not long ago all HPU students received an e-mail with the title “Update on Emergency Preparedness”, which referred to the current situation in North Korea and its testing and launching of missiles. To get reminded that we live in a place, which is threatened puts things into perspective, because how serious are North Korea about their threads, should we all just go ahead and get out of here or does the U.S. have a plan?
The conflict between the U.S. and North Korea goes way back, but in the past year the conflict has flared up and the threads between the two countries are getting more serious. This has happened for several reasons, one being that President Donald Trump has a hard time handling what is appropriate to post on twitter, and what is not. In August 2017, he wrote: “North Korea better not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met by fire and fury like the world has never seen” and this was not positively received by North Korea, who afterwards revealed a plan to attack the US naval base in Guam. Guam should according to NBC News have six heavy bombers, which have made 11 practice sorties since May, to be prepared for a potential strike on North Korea. But Guam is not just military but also home to 162,000 people. This thread to Guam and the US is serious, because North Korea has already carried out five nuclear tests since 2006 and tested their missiles 8 times this year and proved, that they can reach past Japan.
According to a Pentagon spokesman, North Korea has two-stage missiles, which has not been seen before, and it should have a range of more than 3,400 miles, which means that it could hit targets in Alaska and Hawaii. But when this is said, U.S. officials do not believe that North Korea have been capable of developing a miniature nuclear warhead, to make the nuclear weapons fit into the missiles. However, same officials are worried about North Korea’s steadily improving technical capability and apparent determination to develop such a weapon rapidly. It is still unclear whether this is a technology North Korea has already mastered or if there’s still years to go, but Japan’s defense ministry warned on August 8th that it was possible that North Korea had already mastered the miniaturization.
But what about the U.S., are we ready if threads should become reality?
The American military solutions should be fully in place now, locked and loaded according to Trump, and he states that the U.S. is ready if North Korea should act unwisely. But at the same time, he also tweets that the U.S. will always consider negotiations. But not only Trump mentions military solutions. U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley warns, that the U.S. is prepared to employ a “full range of counter measures” including use of military force if necessary. In the event of a missile launch by North Korea, the U.S. military will try to intercept the incoming missiles through the U.S. anti-missile system works seen below.
Several countries are ready to stand behind the U.S. as support in the case that an attack is happening. For example, Japan’s chief government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, has said, that the country would never tolerate it, and that North Korea’s actions are obviously provocative to the region as well as to the security of the international community.
If or when North Korea will take the next step and attack is hard to say, we can only hope that they have not yet developed the needed technology and that our U.S. defense will be ready.