Americans hope that President Trump and his team can resolve the North Korean tension. Nobody wants any place in America to be struck by an atomic or hydrogen bomb. We are not totally clear on what North Korea can do with a missile but it is growing clearer their program has advanced and is growing stronger almost day by day. Although few people seem to believe North Korea has a hydrogen bomb.
We were blindsided by Japan December 7, 1941, when they attacked Pearl Harbor. The Japanese killed 2,335 servicemen. An additional 1,143 were wounded. They attacked us for 110 minutes from 7:55 a.m. until 9:45 a.m. Hundreds of Japanese planes sank or damaged 21 warships and destroyed more than 150 planes on nearby airfields. That was a horrendous day in our history that we never want to be repeated.
There is no way to be blindsided by North Korea. Kim Jong-un doesn't like the United States and has not made that a secret. North Korea appears to have the ability to hit major US cities, according to experts, with their increasingly developed missiles.
What has not been determined is how heavy a payload the missile was carrying in its most recent test. According to experts the heavier the payload the shorter the range. Experts have estimated that the recent test missile had the ability to hit Alaska.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency said the most recent missile test was a Hwasongt-14, the same missile tested earlier this month. The news agency also added that Washington should regard the launch as a "grave warning." Kim Jong-un has been quoted saying "the whole US mainland" is now within North Korea's reach. He called Pyongyang's weapons program "a precious asset" that cannot be reversed or replaced, according to the agency.
In light of North Korea's advancing missile program, what should President Trump and his current leadership do?
We must continue to work with China and Japan and all others to impose economic sanctions on North Korea. Diplomacy must always be the first effort. We aren't interested in hurting North Korea. We aren't their enemy. Unfortunately, they have not only threatened our nation verbally but they are [also] demonstrating an advancing ability to hurt us.
Eventually our president will have to do what no one in our country wants to happen and that is make an effort to destroy Yongbyron, which is North Korea's nuclear facility built in 1965. Some reports indicate there may be as many as twenty nuclear bombs at Yongbyron and that North Korea has enough highly enriched Uranium to make six to eight additional nuclear bombs a year.
The repercussions of us making an effort to destroy or greatly impair Yongbryon and their missile launching capabilities could greatly jeopardize South Korea's safety. Almost 30,000 American troops are in South Korea. North Korea could in probability launch some kind of attack against South Korea, which could be catastrophic.
We come back to the bottom line and that is the security of our homeland. We cannot wait for North Korea to have a successful attack against the United States. Unless severe economic sanctions are imposed and carried out successfully with international support, we will be placed into a stalemate scenario and have to react aggressively to protect our country.
Our own recent missile test from Vandenberg Air Force base in California was a chess move by the Pentagon to remind North Korea they are playing with fire and about to be burned. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson assured North Korea, "We are not your enemy," but said that Pyongyang "is presenting an unacceptable threat to us and we have to respond."
When will President Trump bomb North Korea? If we do not receive some word from Pyongyang that they are going to back off and live in peace with the world, then look for us to strike them after their next missile test.
Glenn Mollette is an American syndicated columnist and author.
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