This report is an update to our March 1st Intel Report. In this article, we will cover North Korea and China and address responses to recent North Korean missile tests.
Over the last few days, North Korea has continued to aggravate the deteriorating situation. The North Korean military launched four SCUD-ER missiles towards Japan. Three of the SCUD-ER missiles traveled almost 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). The missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone which is about 200 miles from the coastline. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared the tests, “an extremely dangerous action.”
North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un ordered, “the KPA Strategic Force to highly alert as required by the grim situation in which actual war may break out anytime, and get ready to promptly move, take positions, and strike so that it can open fire to annihilate the enemies once the Party Central Committee issues an order.”
White House response to the missiles came on Monday when Press Secretary Sean Spicer addressed the media. “The Trump administration is taking steps to enhance our ability to defend against North Korea’s ballistic missiles, such as through the deployment of a THAAD battery to South Korea.”
THADD, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, began deployment in 2008. The missile defense system, most recently scheduled towards the end of this year, should now be fully operational by April.
U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris commented on Tuesday stating, “Continued provocative actions by North Korea, to include yesterday’s launch of many missiles, only confirm the prudence of our alliance decision last year to deploy THAAD to South Korea.”
Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres also issued a statement.“The Secretary-General condemns the reported firing of ballistic missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), three of which landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Such actions violate Security Council resolutions and seriously undermine regional peace and stability. The Secretary-General reiterates his call for the DPRK leadership to refrain from further provocations and comply fully with its international obligations.”