US plans first test of ICBM intercept, with NKorea on mind

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To the untrained eye, the preparations for war are all there.

The issue of deploying US THAAD anti-missile systems in South Korea should be submitted for ratification to the country's parliament, Song Young-gil has stated. The world's most advanced jet, the F-35, has been sent to Japan.

"In my discussions with senior officials in both South Korea and the USA, the view was that should North Korea ever be recognised as a nuclear weapons state, then Japan and (South) Korea would have little option than to develop their own nuclear weapons capability", Bishop told the newspaper. "We should not enable them any longer - which is why it is critical to carefully regulate travel to North Korea".

But even the best systems can't stop a determined foe with a handful of nukes.

On the campaign trail a year ago, Trump raised the possibility of Japan and South Korea arming themselves with nuclear weapons, particularly sensitive in Japan - the only country to ever be attacked by atomic bombs - but later drew back from the remarks.

"So they know now that they don't have, I think, as much time to try to bring the North Koreans to the table to get their calculus changed and get them to the negotiating table", she said.

"North Korea now is rebuffing overtures from China, which is frustrating China", she said.

Blair's statement echoes Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis' recent admission that a fight with the North would be "tragic on an unbelievable scale".

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Every year, the United States holds joint military drills with South Korea.

Once we arrive at a successful diplomatic conclusion on North Korea, the USA should work toward a United Nations treaty banning all nuclear weapons. North Korea may have about a dozen nuclear weapons and the ability to hit a few close targets within an hour or so of planning.

The Missile Defense Agency said in its FY2018 Budget Overview that it would deploy eight additional ground-based interceptors in Alaska by the end of 2017, for a total of 44 overall "to improve protection against North Korean and potential Iranian ICBM threats as they emerge". This is different than the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system located in South Korea which would intercept the kill vehicle at a lower altitude in the missile's terminal stage. It is pushing to build a nuclear-tipped missile that can reach the continental United States, and carried out two nuclear tests past year.

The report is significant in that it appears the Trump administration has ruled out a military option against the North.

Among other things, the document mentioned possible joint actions to solve the North Korean nuclear problem.

Not fired from a launchpad, but a tracked mobile launcher that could be nearly anywhere at any time. "We met the objective we laid out in the test". The risk remains that they'd misinterpret a limited strike as a full-on attack.

According to Sun, it isn't simply a legal matter keeping us from folding to North Korea.

Though regime change is a long-term solution, until that happens we can not risk the possibility of North Korea possessing a miniaturized atomic bomb and a reliable rocket to carry it.

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