WASHINGTON, DC — Upon taking the highest office in the land, President-elect Donald Trump will need to address the growing North Korean missile threat “almost immediately.”
“More often than not, we measure the mettle of presidencies by the unexpected crises that they must deal with. For President Bush, this was clearly the terrorist attacks of 9/11 which completely changed every element of his presidency. For President-elect Trump, this crisis could very well come from North Korea,” said Victor Cha, senior adviser and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Speaking on a panel at CSIS’s Global Security Forum, Cha added that the North “will challenge the new administration almost immediately upon taking office.”
What’s more, the normally aggressive regime has been exceptionally busy in 2016 with an increased tempo in testing. So far this year, the North has launched 25 ballistic-missiles and remains the only country to have detonated nuclear devices in this century.
“Every launch that he launches, he learns more. He gets more capability,” said retired US Army Gen. Walter “Skip” Sharp, a former commander of US Forces-Korea said during the panel.
“UN Security Council resolutions have been numerous that have told him he cannot do this and I personally think it’s time to start enforcing this,” Sharp said.
The acceleration and frequency in testing shows not only the North’s nuclear ambitions but also that the rogue nation has developed something of an arsenal.
The following graphic from CSIS’s Missile Defence Project illustrates specifications and ranges of North Korea’s ballistic-missile arsenal.
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