by Pamela Williams
Many people believe North Korea is not a true nuclear threat to the United States. Obama was a President who chose to ignore, not communicate about it, and also failed to call China on their support of North Korea. No doubt without China’s alliance, North Korea would not be where it is today. And where is that exactly?
I will be referring to materials from James A. Lyons, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations. Richard D. Fisher Jr is a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center.
Obama left President Trump a real mess by ignoring North Korea’s nuclear antics. But, also, he left Trump a further mess by ignoring China’s part in its alliance with North Korea. There is no doubt that China has aided and abetted North Korea in becoming a nuclear threat to the world. The new Trump administration must face the prospect in 2017 of multiple North Korean ICBM tests and then, by 2018 or 2019, the prospect of an operational North Korean ICBM that can reach most American cities. Perhaps Washington should start where the Obama administration refused to go, by listing China’s military assistance to North Korea and publicly demanding that China retrieve all of the missile launchers it 5transferred to North Korea in 2011.
I wonder if China believes that President Trump is as apathetic as Obama was? Or if Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will continue to baby them as Hillary Clinton did? Or should I say if Rex Tillerson will accept funds from them in a pay to play scheme as Clinton did? I have news for China, those days are over. Obama and Hillary are gone! They are dealing with leaders here who know the truth and don’t mind telling you. China, you are on notice.
How much did Obama and Clinton really ignore in all this? Allowing North Korea to make consistent progress toward the fielding of a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching most American cities can be considered President Obama’s most serious failure in national security and non-proliferation. But I not only blame Obama for this, as Clinton was always smiling for China and patting them on the back when she should be been doing her job as Secretary of State. But how could anyone do their actual job for the Government when all they really cared about was donations to their own bank account?
Crucial to this failure was Mr. Obama’s refusal to confront effectively China’s role in North Korea’s ICBM program, a job now left to the incoming Trump administration. The imperative for doing so is clear: North Korea may soon test its ICBM, saying on Jan. 8 it could launch it “any time and anywhere.”Mr. Obama had years to confront this threat. Pyongyang revealed a mock-up of its KN-08 or Hwasong-13 ICBM during a military parade in 2012. Six of these mock-ups however, were being carried by six very real and purpose-designed 16-wheel missile transporter-erector-launchers, made by the Sanjiang Special Vehicle Corp. of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. Anyone surpriseed by this? Further, since 2012 the world has watched with growing alarm as North Korea has documented its progress in developing its nuclear warhead-armed ICBM. For its Oct. 10, 2015 parade North Korea revealed its KN-14, a redesigned and longer-range ICBM judged capable of reaching Washington D.C. Then in a series of 2016 disclosures, North Korea revealed a compact nuclear weapon design compatible with the KN-08 and KN-14, tests of ablative material to assist the re-entry of nuclear warheads and possible engine tests for its ICBM.
On Sept. 9, Pyongyang tested a 20- to 30-kiloton nuclear weapon, perhaps suitable for a warhead, and some estimate it could have 100 nuclear weapons by 2020. But it is China’s launchers, perhaps up to eight of them, according to Japanese reports, which will give North Korea’s ICBMs the mobility they need to conduct surprise nuclear strikes against the United States and then to evade U.S. counter-attack.
This bears repeating: China’s LAUNCHERS give North Korea’s ICBMs the mobility they need to conduct surprise nuclear strikes against the US and then to evade US counter-attack! Please understand that North Korea has relied on China to become the nuclear threat it is. We cannot wait and watch and do nothing. China must act now to let us know it will stop North Korea dead in its tracks.
Furthermore, this gets even more troubling. In June 2012, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, citing an anonymous Japanese “government” source, reported that on Aug. 1 2011, the “spy satellites of Japan, the United States and South Korea” observed a Cambodian ship transporting four of the Chinese missile launchers from Shanghai to the North Korean port of Nampo. But despite this early knowledge, the Asahi report stated, “On the urging of the United States, the three governments also decided not to publicize the shipment of the vehicles to avoid publicly embarrassing China.” Thank you, Obama, you have always been so polite to the enemies of the United States, as you have always viewed the United States as the enemy.
China has not moved to correct any “mistake” and can be viewed as having affirmed the launcher transfer. China sent ruling Communist Party Politburo members to observe subsequent North Korean military parades featuring ICBMs and their Chinese launchers, on July 27, 2013 and Oct. 10, 2015. While it may not have transferred any more launchers to North Korea, in early 2016 China transferred practically the same 16-wheel missile launcher to Pakistan for its Shaheen-III nuclear missile, raising the prospect that Pakistan could become a new source of launchers for North Korea. Wow, now China has brought Pakistan under its wings. With China the more enemies it can build up against the United States the happier it becomes. Make no mistake about it, China is a snake in the grass…slithering behind the back of the United States.
So, what is the United States to do now? What must Secretary of State Rex Tillerson demand of North Korea and China? There has to be a new policy departure from the Obama era now. Obama’s policy has only given Beijing and Pyongyang time to create a nuclear missile threat. Until Beijing actively seeks to disarm North Korea’s nuclear missiles, it should be told that it will not escape consequences for any North Korean nuclear strike. This may sound alarming and risky, but it is the only solution that can be sought at this point.
You are not going to like what comes next, but again what else can the US do at this point? The U.S. should accelerate its development and deployment of weapons intended to deter North Korean and Chinese aggression. And it has officially begun the deployment of the THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system in South Korea. However, China adamantly opposes the deployment of THAAD, seeing the system as a threat to its military capabilities. The missile system is also facing criticism from some South Koreans worried about Chinese economic retaliation as well as some environmental and safety concerns. And now that South Korea’s president has been impeached, THAAD’s future could be in jeopardy. Only time will tell, but I believe THAAD is a necessary development at this time.
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