Threatening or Bluffing: Is the US Really Ready to Strike North Korea?

Sunday, July 9, 2017
By Paul Martin

This week, the US, France and the United Kingdom called for the adoption of a new sanctioning resolution of the UN Security Council on North Korea to answer for its July 4 missile test. Political observer for RIA Novosti Ilya Kharlamov reviewed whether the US is ready for more active, military measures against Pyongyang.

On Tuesday, North Korea announced it had successfully launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), saying it traveled 580 miles (933 km) and reached an altitude of 1,740 miles (2,800 km) during its 39-minute flight before accurately hitting a targeted area in the Sea of Japan.
The Russian Defense Ministry, however, informed that North Korea had tested a mid-range, and not intercontinental, ballistic missile.

A Voronezh-type radar station deployed in the Irkutsk region monitored the launch of the Hwasong-14 medium-range ballistic missile from North Korea, which flew about 14 minutes, about 510 kilometers (317 miles) far and 535 kilometers (332 miles) high, landing in the Sea of Japan, the ministry said in a reference, which, together with a schematic illustration showing flight parameters, was sent to the UN Secretary General and to the Chairman of the Security Council.

The launch was discussed at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on July 5. The United States, France and the United Kingdom called for the adoption of a new sanctions resolution by the Security Council as the answer to the missile test. Japan and South Korea also joined the call.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, fiercely condemned the launch and threatened that her country will take military action against North Korea if necessary.

“Their actions are quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution,” she said, noting that America has “considerable military forces. We will use them if we must. But we prefer not to have to go in that direction.”

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