Welcome to the American Revolution II

Welcome to the American Revolution II
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
"We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose and insidious in method..." and warned about what he saw as unjustified government spending proposals and continued with a warning that "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex... The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."Dwight D. Eisenhower

Friday, July 3, 2009

Korean threatened launch at Hawaii on the Fourth of July

U.S. readies weapons for threatened Korean launch at Hawaii

Peter Goodspeed:


North Korea has vowed to give the United States a Fourth of July it will never forget, escalating anti-U.S. rhetoric with threats to fire an intercontinental ballistic missile at Hawaii and promising a “fire shower of nuclear retaliation” in response to any U.S. provocation.

The nuclear standoff with Pyongyang already has northeast Asia on edge, but now it threatens to intrude on Europe as Barack Obama, the U.S. President, prepares to meet Dmitry Medvedev, his Russian counterpart, in Moscow on Monday.

The Moscow summit revolves around arms control and a bid to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expires in December. The biggest impediment to a nuclear arms deal is Russia’s opposition to U.S. plans for an anti-missile defence shield in Europe.

Kim Jong-il
If North Korea follows through with its threat to hurl a Taepodong-2 missile toward Hawaii, Washington’s experimental anti-missile system may receive its first real-life test. Decades of debate over the feasibility of anti-missile defence could climax in a single, devastating explosion high above the Pacific Ocean.

So far, the Taepodong-2 has never flown successfully, but experts predict, if launched flawlessly with a medium- to light-weight warhead, it could travel almost 7,000 kilometres, putting it within reach of the Hawaiian islands and Alaska.

The first time North Korea test-fired the Taepodong-2, it splashed into the sea between Korea and Japan, just 42 seconds after launch.

Surveillance data of the launch, including the angle at which the missile was fired and the altitude it achieved, suggested it was targeted at a spot in the Pacific near Hawaii.

Pyongyang also has a habit of belligerently demonstrating its new-found military prowess on U.S. national holidays.

In 2006, after test-firing a series of shorter-range Scud and Nodong-2 missiles, it launched its first long-range Taepodong-2 on July 4. This spring, its second underground nuclear test was staged on May 25, the U.S. Memorial Day holiday.

North Korean threats to mark July 4 with a ballistic missile launch were preceded by a warning for all ships to keep away from a maritime zone 110 kilometres off its east coast June 25-July 10.

On Thursday, North Korea followed a pattern similar to the 2006 Taepodong-2 launch by test-firing four short-range missiles that ended up in the Sea of Japan.

So far, U.S. experts say they haven’t seen any signs of North Korean preparations for a July 4 ballistic missile launch.

In April, commercial and intelligence satellites tracked preparations for a missile launch for at least a week as workers assembled and fueled a three-stage Taepodong-2 missile for a failed attempt to put a satellite in orbit.


Still, U.S. defence officials are not taking any chances. They have reinforced missile defence systems around Hawaii.

If North Korea launches a missile, ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California will work in co-ordination with a tracking network of sea- and land-based radars stretching from the Sea of Japan across the Pacific to Hawaii and Alaska.

The network will be backed by Patriot anti-missile defences deployed in South Korea and a U.S. Navy Aegis system of missile-defence ships near Japan.

Late last month, Robert Gates, the U.S. Defence Secretary, also ordered the U.S. Army’s ground-based, mobile THAAD (theatre high-altitude air defence) system to be deployed in Hawaii.

He also sent a new sophisticated sea-based X-band tracking radar, mounted on a self-propelled double-hulled oil drilling platform, to waters near Hawaii.

The two new weapon systems were already in the region, having completed tests on March 17, in which a THAAD anti-missile battery successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target off Kauai in Hawaii.

The THAAD anti-missile system can intercept targets 200 km away at a height of 150 km.

“We’re obviously watching the situation in the North, with respect to missile launches, very closely,” Mr. Gates said as he announced the deployments. “And we do have some concerns, if they were to launch a missile to the west, in the direction of Hawaii.”

“Without telegraphing what we will do, I would just say, we are in a good position, should it become necessary to protect Americans and American territory,” he added.

For now, U.S. officials say they won’t activate their missile defences if a North Korean launch looks as if it will fall harmlessly into the ocean, as in the past.

But a North Korean missile that threatens to come within 1,200 km of Hawaii could result in the first unscripted test of the U.S. anti-missile system.

Pyongyang’s threat to target the United States carries additional significance since its close partner in rocket development is Iran.

Iran’s Safir-Omid space launch vehicle is closely patterned on the Taepodong-2, while Pyongyang’s medium-range Rodong is almost identical to Iran’s Shahab-3.

A direct North Korean challenge of U.S. anti-missile technology could have massive implications for renewed U.S.-Russian relations and possible deployment of a U.S.-built anti-missile system in Europe.

Russia views the U.S. plans as a threat to its security, while Washington insists they are aimed solely at averting a potential attack from Iran.

A successful test of Washington’s anti-missile system against a North Korean ballistic missile would immediately move all debate over anti-missile technology from the purely hypothetical to the starkly real.

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