Another long range ICBM missile test by North Korea has been conducted. North Korean leadership now claims its ICBMs can target any place in the US. Our missile defense systems are in medium phase development and constitute a hit and miss proposition for our defenses. Quantities of US stocks of these anti-ICBM systems are in short supply and production needs to be increased. The US has two surface to air systems capable of defending the country from ICBM attacks by North Korea or other rival nations. There is the THAAD missile defense interceptor which is a high-altitude system which has been somewhat effective in tests flights. The second system is called a Midcourse Interceptor which is capable of intercepting ICBM units in the ascent phase. There have been a number of tests, some successful some not, of these two systems. At this time stockpiles of these anti-defense systems are low. The US has failed to develop a space-based anti-ICBM system and scrap piled during the Clinton administration the Brilliant Pebbles system that was conceived during Star Wars under the Reagan administration. The delayed development of effective anti-ICBM weapon systems is alarming for the US.
As North Korea launches forward at a more rapid pace in the development of its ICBM capabilities, the US reacts by stating that it will protect the interests of the American people as well as US allies – meaning South Korea and Japan primarily. Nevertheless in order to protect first US interests and the lives of the American people a high risk strike at this time by the US on North Korea’s principal targets (i.e. massive artillery, missile facilities and command-and-control centers ) would instantly trigger a bloodbath in South Korea where 30,000 US troops are stationed. To some degree this is a “checkmate” situation in which the US finds itself in the untenable position of launching a reciprocal attack involving a North Korea strike on the peoples of South Korea that could amount to hundreds of thousands of casualties in a very short few minutes.