Saturday, May 18, 2013


6 AM, Saturday May 18, 2013: Well, here we are again! I got up early, made some coffee and turned on my computer to see that North Korea has launched short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan. Those with short memories are shocked. But, for the rest of us, we ho-hum and yawn until our coffee perks us up a bit. 

If your response to this morning's news is shock, let me jog your short-lived memories of North Korea's history. Did you forget the power struggles they've had, between their hawks and moderates. I remember the younger son of Kim Jong II attempting to murder his older brother when Kim Jong II was ailing from a  stroke. I recall the North Korean Kang Nam freighter that illegally transported missile and/or nuclear technology on board, until the USS John McCain and a Navy P-3's tracked the Kang Nam through Chinese waters. Nor will I forget when North Korea prepared to launch a long-range missile toward Hawaii. 

As a response to the Hawaii threat, the U.S. installed a giant radar platform ship along with THAAD and other ABM systems on and around Hawaii. At that time, when Defense Secretary Robert Gates positioned missile defenses around Hawaii, he stated,“We do have some concerns if North Korea were to launch their most advanced missile to the west in the direction of Hawaii.” Gates also mentioned that the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system would be deployed.The world established strict sanctions against North Korea at the time and the despotic regime responded by threatening to detonate another nuclear bomb.

It was at that time, only several years ago, when experts mentioned that North Korea may be only several years away from being able to marry a long-range missile with a nuclear warhead. Also, do you remember when Kim Jong II threatened to retaliate against the world community's imposed sanctions? Yes, a short while ago North Korea threatened to wipe the United States off the map and we sat around wondering whether or not to take him seriously. 

Some of the comments and happenings several years ago:
  • Gates also stated, “Without telegraphing what we will do, I would just say … we are in a good position, should it become necessary, to protect Americans and American territory”.
  • A Japanese newspaper reported that North Korea might fire its most advanced ballistic missile toward Hawaii around the July 4 Independence Day holiday in the U.S.
So, refresh your memories. Our response? Beyond the ho-hum and yawning, until my coffee kicks into high gear, I take North Korea's missile launches into the Sea of Japan as another brazen slap in the face of the international community, which punished North Korea with new U.N. sanctions for conducting a second nuclear test on May 25th in defiance of a U.N. ban. Our diplomats will swing into high-gear and once again try to persuade Russia and China to shake their fingers at Kim...whatever his name is. It's also time to arm Japan, South Korea, Hawaii and other U.S.- friendly neighbors around North Korea with the most sophisticated anti-missile defensive systems in our inventory.  Then, it's up to the UN to meet and initiate the broadest, deepest sanctions against North Korea ever. 

Photo below: Taepodong-2 range from North Korean launch site
Click Photo to review
For those readers interested, I "The National Intelligence Estimate on the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States: Hearing Before the International Security". This resource was originally published by the Washington U.S. G.P.O. You'll enjoy the Opening Statement by Senator Thompson: "Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for your leadership in this area. Along those lines, I noticed that it was reported today in the Washington Times that North Korea sold twelve medium-range ballistic missile engines to Iran".
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Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officerss (AFIO) and writes the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean." The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Got a thought, article or comment you'd like to submit? Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

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