A commercial satellite photo of North Koreaâ€™s Nodong missile launch site taken on by a Digital Globe satellite and annotated and released by analysts at GlobalSecurity.org on May 24, 2006. The United States and Japan warned North Korea on Monday against a missile launch that experts say could reach as far as Alaska and threatened harsh action if the test flight goes ahead.
The Pentagon activated its new U.S. ground-based interceptor missile defense system, Bill Gertz reports in Tuesday’s WASHINGTON TIMES, just as officials announced that any long-range missile launch by North Korea would be considered a “provocative act.”
Poor weather conditions above where the missile site was located by U.S. intelligence satellites indicates that an immediate launch is unlikely, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
However, intelligence officials said preparations have advanced to the point where a launch could take place within several days to a month.
Two Navy Aegis warships are patrolling near North Korea as part of the global missile defense and would be among the first sensors that would trigger the use of interceptors, the officials said yesterday.
Gertz reports: The U.S. missile defense system includes 11 long-range interceptor missiles, including nine deployed at Fort Greeley, Alaska, and two at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The system was switched from test to operational mode within the past two weeks, the officials said.
And Japan has purchased anti-missile weapons from the United States pending United Senate approval (which Flap is positive will be accelerated).
So, will the United States attempt to intercept this Taepodong-2?
And to remind Kim Jong-il what offensive land-based missile capacity the United States has, this piece from last week:
The Air Force successfully tested an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile early Wednesday, officials said.
The missile was launched at 1:22 a.m. and traveled 4,800 miles in about 30 minutes before its three warheads struck targets at the Kwajalein Missile Range in the western chain of the Marshall Islands, according to a news release from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The purpose of the launch was to test the weapon’s effectiveness.
The Air Force has about 500 Minuteman weapons in Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota.
And here are links to the United States facilities involved in testing the Minuteman III and Defense Missile Systems:
Technorati Tags: NorthKorea, KimJongIl, MissileDefenseAgency