North Korea will likely conduct another missile launch this weekend to commemorate Founders Day barely a week after the communist nation successfully tested a hydrogen bomb it claims is capable of being mounted on an ICMB.
The missile in question, reportedly another Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile, was tracked as it was moved to a launching position on the country’s west coast; the missile was moved overnight in an effort to avoid detection.
South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon called for sanctions to be strengthened “to the maximum level” and ruled out any dialogue with the rogue communist nation.
“I believe that now is the time to strengthen sanctions to the maximum level while securing military deterrence means,” he said. “Dialogue is ultimately necessary, but now is not the time to talk about dialogue with North Korea.”
President Donald Trump warned military options are still on the table, but noted he would prefer “not going the route of the military.”
“Military action would certainly be an option. Is it inevitable? Nothing is inevitable.” Trump said during a White House press conference yesterday. “So I would prefer not going the route of the military, but it’s something certainly that could happen.”
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert praised the most recent round of sanctions imposed on North Korea by the United Nations Security Council, noting they “take a long, long time to work.”
“Now when you see a test that took place on Sunday, you may think, goodness, that is not working, but that is not the case, and here’s why: It can take a long, long time for sanctions to work,” she said. “It can take a long time for a pressure campaign to work. It is not an overnight thing. It’s not a big, sexy military operation. This is handled very, very differently.”
Former CIA acting director and deputy director Mike Morell penned an op-ed in the The Washington Post expressing concern that a preemptive strike on North Korea could lead the country to strike the United States with an nuclear-armed ICMB – a capability Morell argues the communist nation may already have, despite claims by Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Paul Selva that North Korea has yet to design a warhead capable of surviving atmospheric reentry.
“I believe that the conventional wisdom may be based on a fundamental mistake of logic: Just because North Korea has not yet demonstrated a capability does not mean it does not have it,” Morell wrote. “Why is this such an important issue? Because, if you believe, as Selva and others apparently do, that North Korea cannot yet attack the homeland with a nuclear weapon, it follows that the United States can take preemptive military action against North Korea without risking a retaliatory nuclear strike by Pyongyang.”
“However, if you believe, as I do, that North Korea might be capable of striking us today, it follows that a preemptive U.S. military strike against Pyongyang could bring about the very thing that we are working to avoid — the nuclear annihilation of a U.S. city and the deaths of millions of Americans.”