On Thursday, November 30, North Korea confirmed reports that they launched an ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) by releasing photos of the test launch. Photos show the missile, the Hwasong-15, as it takes off from its launch pad somewhere in the northern part of North Korea on Wednesday, November 30. According to military experts, this missile appears to be taller and larger than its predecessor, the Hwasong-14.
Analysts say that this launch appears to be the most successful North Korean launch to date, as the missile went between 4,000 and 4,500 kilometers high, the highest a North Korean missile has ever gone, indicating that North Korea may indeed be capable of hitting most if not all of the U.S. mainland.
While this is just North Korea’s first missile launch since September, it continues a dangerous pattern of North Korea continuing to developing long-range missiles, and with this latest test, they are one step closer. While they are not yet capable of arming a missile with a nuclear warhead, experts say that they will gain that ability by 2018 or 2019.
This latest test, along with North Korea’s progressing nuclear program make it clear now, more than ever, that something has to be done, it makes it clear that North Korea has to be stopped. The big question, however, is how: how would the United States stop or take down North Korea. This is a controversial issue that people have many different opinions. Some say continue to place economic sanctions on North Korea, some say use any and all diplomatic measures possible, and some that we should conduct a military strike.
We need to end the North Korea issue now, and a military strike is the best option to properly do so. With tensions on the Korean Peninsula rising every day, the pressure to take action is growing exponentially. With time being in short demand, a military strike is not only the best option, but the only option as well. For decades the U.S. has been placing sanctions on North Korean economic activity, and it has done nothing to slow down their weapons programs. For decades the U.S. has tried to bring North Korea to the negotiating table, and work out a diplomatic solution, and it has done nothing to slow down their weapons programs. Starting to see a pattern? Well, you should.
Of course, a military option is not the perfect solution, but the thing is: it is the least imperfect option that we currently have, and there are lots of options. The U.S. could conduct a bombing campaign from the air, we could launch sea-based missiles from our Navy destroyers in the region, we could send a barrage of our own ICBMs, or we could do a combination of any of those things. What is almost more important, though, is the fact that any military option would destroy North Korea’s nuclear capability, which would keep over 300 million Americans out of harm’s way.
Time is running out, and sanctions and diplomacy have been completely ineffective for the past several decades. The failure of several past U.S. presidents have allowed for the situation that we currently are in today: a North Korea capable of using nuclear weapons. It’s time for the U.S. to do something, before it’s too late. The U.S. needs to take real action against North Korea, and if we don’t, we will pay the price.