Tuesday, March 7, 2017

North Korean Ballistic Missile Tests

North Korea continues its insane saber rattling and its stone cold sober preparations for nuclear war with more ballistic missile tests.  NKorea also brazenly stated that the tests were practice for hitting American bases, as reported by the Washington Post website.

“North Korea was practicing to strike United States military bases in Japan with its latest barrage of missiles, state media in Pyongyang reported Tuesday …” (1)

The US, meanwhile, continues its policy of world wide appeasement.

At some point, it ought to occur to US government leaders that appeasement is not working. 

  • Despite our best efforts at appeasement, NKorea continues its inexorable march towards developing nuclear ballistic missiles. 

  • Despite our best efforts at appeasement, China continues to ignore international law by building artificial islands and militarizing them while making illegal and outrageous territorial claims in and around the South China Sea, Philippines, and Japan.

  • Despite our best efforts at appeasement, Russia continues its program of annexation and  invasion while harassing US military aircraft and ships.

  • Despite our best efforts at appeasement – and bribery! - Iran continues its inexorable march towards developing nuclear ballistic missiles while harassing US ships.

Here’s a thought for the new administration.  Instead of appeasing NKorea, why not station an Aegis/BMD cruiser off NKorea and shoot down the next ballistic missile they launch.  We can call it, “practice” for shooting down ballistic missiles.

The NKorean missiles fell within the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).  If I were Japan, I’d think that was way too close to my land and I’d want to prevent any future missile shots.  What if the next one travels a little further (whether intentionally or inadvertently – NKorea is not exactly the most technologically accomplished country in the world – they may have little idea where the missiles will land) and impacts Japanese land?

We are way past the point where any reasonable person can claim that appeasement is working.  It’s time to insist that rogue nations behave responsibly and to back up that insistence with demonstrations of resolve and, if necessary, force.


(1)Washington Post website, “North Korea says it was practicing to hit U.S. military bases in Japan with missiles”, Anna Fifield, 6-Mar-2017,


  1. Agreed, We should destroy any missile on a vector that could land in Japan's territorial boundaries. That said, what if we fail to intercept it, whatever the cause?(malfunction, failure to target, etc.)
    Not trying to make a point, just curious for your opinion.

    1. If we shoot and fail to destroy the missile then we will have learned something and can improve the system. Better to find out now than during an actual shooting war. There's no better testing than live fire!

  2. Appeasment is fine, if you have some pre-determined line where appeasment will stop and use of force will begin. This gives groups a chance to manoeuvre before the shooting starts, with fore knowledge of what the response will be. Park a Tico in the Sea of Japan and take pot shots at anything that crosses into Japan's EEZ.

    You can play over there, if you try and play over here we will thankyou for the realistic target practice.

    1. As good parents know, appeasement is never fine. You set the ground rules and you enforce them without exception.

  3. I cant see South Korea allowing any overt US action. After all the NK have torpedoed a Corvette, bombarded islands and of course seized the US Pueblo.
    If there was going to be any retaliation those would have been situations.

    1. South Korea has no control or authority over US actions in international waters. Setting that aside, I can see no reason why SK would object to any action that hinders NK's missile development efforts or brings the US even closer to SK politically and militarily.

      As far as NK actions against SK, maybe SK should toughen up and defend itself rather than meekly accepting the NK provocations (acts of war, to be accurate). Appeasement never works and only encourages more aggression.

  4. Can those BMD missiles intercept in the boost phase or only on the downside?
    They would never do it in any event because the missiles might miss - repeatedly.

    1. The Standard SM-3 is designed for exo-atmospheric intercepts. I don't know what other capabilities it has.

    2. "They would never do it in any event because the missiles might miss - repeatedly."

      The missiles might also hit - repeatedly.

    3. I actually suspect we ARNT doing this because we have a fair idea we are going to miss.

      However I also agree that an overwhelming demonstration is in order, with enough assets in the right places, we should be able to pretty much garentee elimination.

      And as you say if 3 of the 4 assets fail to successfully prosecute the target we will have learned something.

      The only reason not to is that it might call into question the huge amount of money being spent of missile defence right now.

    4. We should jump at the chance to conduct a live fire test. Failure is success in that it means we can identify problems and improve the system. If we can accomplish that in the "safety" of a non-war, live fire event, all the better!

      There is also the possibility that we'll find the weapon system works in which case we'll have gained confidence and learned tactical lessons about the employment of the weapons.

      It's a "win" whether we succeed or fail!

  5. Given N Korea's blatant statement that they are practicing for war, It maybe time to get a formal Sense of the Congress resolution that states that missile launches outside of the N Korean territorial area will constitute an Act of War Against the United States and its allies that will lead to Declaration of War.

    Sa;;y the Fleet and let's hope these BMD ships really work.

    1. The war with NK was never officially over, its only an armistice.
      The problem isnt defeating NK, that would likely happen within 24 hrs, its afterwards. China and South Korea dont want a vast movement of refugees heading their way. I think South Korea, having been through the devastion of a war, essentially hopes for peaceful re-unification ( even better for the people of NK).
      Its something perhaps those sitting in their homes in the west, far from any conflict, under estimate. You should consider deaths of millions much more important than any loss of face through a loaded word like appeasement.

    2. The problem with appeasement isn't the humiliation, it's the historical fact that it simply encourages more aggressive behavior which leads, inexorably, to war. Had Hitler been slapped down very early in Germany's build up to war, perhaps, just perhaps, war would have been averted.

      Appeasement always fails. It's an historical fact.

    3. Its silly to dismiss NK, by our own estimates it would take approx. 2-3 weeks just to start making a significant dent in their gun artillery forces which numbers close to 9 thousand, 75% of which is estimated to be on the DMZ. According to the various RAND reports we are looking at between 6-18 months till to pacify the country. Shooting down an hazardous missile is one thing, and destroying a large, indoctrinated army with access to nuclear weapons is another. In order to do the latter, we most increase our personnel and equipment in the region and get china to step aside or assist in the dismembering of the current regime apparatus.

      If they (NK) step out of their territorial boundaries, like a missile hitting japan or attacking SK (directly/indirectly), that's when we should act.

    4. "The problem isnt defeating NK, that would likely happen within 24 hrs"

      You're hurting your credibility with statements like that.

  6. So now we have N Korean threatening a first strike, China is threatening a first strike due to the deployment of THAAD missiles. Japan has threatened first strike in their legislature now. So the only missing ingredient is someone to actually do something foolish which would cause a first strike.

    I hope the Navy is prepared to fight their way around Japan into N Korean waters because that mess is going to be tight fast and furious. The coast off Korean will become the new Iron Bottom sound if this situation goes out of control any more.


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