Photo: Wikimedia Commons
North Korea got itself in a fist-clenching, foot-stomping twist Wednesday after the U.N. again expanded sanctions against the country.This recent resolution comes as a direct response to Pyongyang’s “successful” long-range rocket launch late last year.
Following the vote, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told reporters, “This resolution demonstrates to North Korea that there are unanimous and significant consequences for its flagrant violation of its obligations under previous resolutions.”
North Korea responded by saying it was full steam ahead on further missile and nuclear development that would now specifically target the United States. Here’s the statement translated by Reuters’ David Chance:
“We are not disguising the fact that the various satellites and long-range rockets that we will fire and the high-level nuclear test we will carry out are targeted at the United States,” the country’s top military body said.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
That missile it managed to get into orbit last year, likely with a great degree of help from Iran, was propelled by liquid fuel.Assuming the North’s rocket is similar to the Viking liquid fuelled rocket used by the U.S. during the cold war, it’s reasonable to expect travel speed of about 4,000 mph.
But using liquid fuel means that in addition to hauling the rocket to its launch pad, Pyongyang then has the tactical problem of topping off two tanks for the 5,000 mile flight to the nearest U.S. target in Hawaii. Every minute an opportunity for the U.S. to blow it up where it sits.
If the missile were to launch and show a U.S. based path, the Navy has 16 Aegis equipped ships in the Pacific theatre with perhaps 20 SM-3 anti-ballistic interceptors each to bring the North Korean missile down. The Aegis system has been successful in taking down missiles for more than 10 years and the most recent SM-3 configuration is very accurate, and very reliable.
Then there are the PAC-3 anti-missile systems in South Korea, likely Japan, U.S. bases in Guam and
Photo: Wikipedia Commons
Hawaii. PAC-3 is also a well-proven missile defence built on the Patriot platform with a long record of successful tests.Finally, assuming the North’s liquid fuelled rocket is still zipping toward Hawaii, there is the Terminal High Altitude Area defence system Robert Gates deployed to Hawaii in 2009 to guard against this exact threat.
The Lockheed THAAD system also has a long track record of taking down multiple ballistic missiles and each battery holds six launchers.
Add to that additional anti-ballistic missile options the military has with modified F-16 AIM-9X rockets that can take out medium range missiles and any unknown submarine options and the idea of Pyongyang getting anywhere near U.S. territory is delusional.
But more than its missile technology, delusion is what North Korea has become best known for. The idea that its begun to believe its own propoganda is scarier than any nuclear threat to the U.S.
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