This DigitalGlobe satellite image, obtained on March 30, shows Tongch’ang-ni Launch Facility on North Korea’s northwest coast. A rocket launch, purportedly to put a satellite into orbit, is set for sometime between April 12-16 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of founding president Kim Il-Sung
The Pentagon recently activated its global missile shield in anticipation of North Korea’s launch of a long-range missile, according to defense officials.
The measures include stepped-up electronic monitoring, deployment of missile interceptor ships, and activation of radar networks to areas near the Korean peninsula and western Pacific.
Three interceptor ships near Japan and the Philippines, as well as U.S.-based interceptors, are ready to shoot down the North Korean missile if space-, land-, and sea-based sensors determine its flight path is targeted at the United States or U.S. allies, said officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Obama administration will regard any launch by North Korea as a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions regardless of whether the North Koreans claim the rocket test is for space launch purposes, the officials said. The technology and rocketry used for a space launch is nearly identical to that used with ballistic missiles that carry a warhead, they said.
Also, because the payload or warhead of the test launch cannot be determined prior to launch, the Obama administration decided to activate the missile defense system.
According to U.S. officials, current intelligence assessments indicate the North Korean missile will be launched from a base called Tongchang-ri, located on a west coast peninsula north of Pyongyang between April 12 and April 15.
The Obama Administration has rightly activated the shield and remember when Vice President Joe Biden and other Democrats came out against the system and ridiculed President Ronald Reagan.
“This premise, that one day Kim Jong Il or someone will wake up one morning and say ‘Aha, San Francisco!’ is specious,” Senator Joe Biden told AP in May 2001.
Meanwhile in the Senate, Carl Levin (D., Mich.) offered in June to cut off funds for the ground-based interceptor program that Mr. Bush recently activated in Alaska in anticipation of the North Korean launch. Mr. Levin wants to stop new interceptors from being built, but Senate Republicans wouldn’t bring his proposal up for a vote. Mr. Levin has been waging his own private war against missile defenses for a generation, to the point of outflanking Russian objections on the political left.
In May 2001 the Boston Herald‘s Woodlief wrote that John Kerry “wants to croak the hugely costly nuclear missile defense system.” And just one day before the 9/11 attacks Joe Biden (D., Del.) gave a National Press Club speech outlining Democrat opposition to national missile defense.
In May 2001, John Kerry himself outlined some of these arguments on Meet the Press by saying that he wanted “a very limited…highly verifiable and mutually agreed-upon (missile) defense system.” And he complained about the cost. “We’ve already spent $68 billion and have almost nothing to show for it,” noted Kerry.
On May 3, 2001, John Kerry called national missile defense a “mythology” on Don Imus’s radio show.
On June 14, 2001, John Kerry told Hardball‘s Chris Matthews that a “missile shield that could defend the United States against any incoming missile is a fantasy, it is too expensive, it won’t work, and that’s what people believe will drive an arms race.”
If it had been left to them, there would be NO missile shield.