Like clockwork, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un threatened to retaliate with a “physical response” once the location of America’s most advanced missile defence system in South Korea was decided — well it’s been decided and now the Hermit Kingdom is acting up.
On Tuesday, the rogue nation fired three ballistic missiles, equipped with a range (between 300 and 360 miles) capable of reaching all of South Korea.
And the latest show of force took form in a ballistic missile test simulating a strike on South Korean ports and airfields, which are heavily operated by US military forces.
Currently the US maintains approximately 28,500 troops in South Korea.
‘We cannot not act’
During a July 13, Hudson Institute discussion on US missile-technology preeminence, US Army Gen. Charles Jacoby, former commander of North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), stressed the importance of deploying THAAD to protect the Korean peninsula and US interests.
“There are tens of thousands of American citizens living there, there is still US forces there, they are playing a defence role and they are at risk everyday to a host of threats that now include the potential for ballistic missile carried weapons of mass destruction,” Gen. Jacoby said.
“We cannot not act.”
“If we are still defending with bows and arrows when the conflict escalates we are not going to create the deterrent effect that we need to to keep peace on the Korean peninsula,” Gen. Jacoby said.
Similarly during a discussion at the Brookings Institution on identifying emerging security threats, CIA Director John Brennan said that the deployment of THAAD to the region was an “obligation” on behalf of the US.
“We have certain obligations to our partners and the region so that the appropriate steps are taken to reassure our friends, partners, and allies of US commitment to the security of that area,” Brennan told Business Insider.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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