North Korea has continued its saber-rattling this week, and news reports suggest the communist nation is preparing a missile launch.

North Korea’s threats should not be taken lightly. The Heritage Foundation’s Michaela Dodge tells us that Pyongyang’s missile program pose a threat to the United Statest:

North Korea can already hit Hawaii, parts of Alaska, and California. It can also hit U.S. forward-deployed troops in South Korea, Japan, and Guam…While the Obama Administration does not believe that North Korea is capable of hitting the U.S. with a nuclear weapon, the U.S. has a history of underestimating North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.

American troops and bases are also located throughout the region, including along the Demilitarized Zone that serves as a border between North and South Korea.

 “The U.S. has already responded to the threats—but more commitment to missile defense is needed,” Heritage’s Amy Payne argues. Unfortunately,“diplomacy doesn’t work with Kim Jong-un,” suggesting we need to impose tough sanctions instead of endlessly talking.

Heritage Foundation expert Bruce Klingner elaborates on the danger:

Perhaps most worrisome is that the regime’s threat du jour is occurring so rapidly. In the past, Pyongyang would issue a threat and then allow Washington and its allies time to respond, preferably by offering benefits to buy its way back to the status quo ante. The current rapid-fire threats conflict with previous North Korean behavior and reduce the potential for de-escalating the crisis.

And it would be foolhardy to dismiss the North Koreans, he adds:

North Korea is easy to ridicule…Its leader could well play the villain in a James Bond or Austin Powers movie. Self-appointed ambassador Dennis Rodman’s visit affirmed the image of the reclusive regime as the ultimate reality show. As such, the tendency has been to dismiss all North Korean threats as bluster. That would be a mistake.

“Americans are taking notice” of this threat, Payne explains. “CNN reports that ‘more than four in 10’ Americans in a new poll say ‘they see the reclusive nation as an immediate threat to the United States…That’s up 13 percentage points in less than a month.’”

While we work to resolve the crisis, the United States and our allies must prepare for the worst.

Do you think North Korea is a threat to the United States? What should the United States do to stop them? Tell us in the comments below. 

Comments (18)

Richard G schillinger - April 12, 2013

I think the Obama administration is a greater threat than North Korea will ever be.

Robert Haefner - April 12, 2013

North Korea is one of many nations who are feeling more emboldened to challenge the U.S.. As our current administration retreats from our super-power status so as to appear more humble and sophisticated, the rest of the world views this as their opportunity to strong-arm their way into power status. I wouldn’t be surprised if N. Korea doesn’t push this well beyond what our Defense Department expects, bringing it to the brink of war. Our shrinking global influence is allowing all the mice to play….unfortunately, some of those mice have nukes. Republicans need to collesce around a solid conservative format or we may be witnessing the rapid unwinding of global stability.

Pete Houston - April 12, 2013

To address this issue.
No public comments by government officials or military.
Ready defenses for our allies and US property.
If fired upon, a measure response that is not nuclear. If we are fired upon and the nuclear weapon is detonated on an ally or on US soil, reduce our nuclear stock pile of overthing made before 1980. All targets are to be military or government properties.
No follow aid or response is needed. If NK rolls south, then South Korea can defend itself on the ground and US can provide aircover only over SK soil. Like what we did over Libya. If SK responds by going into NK that is their business.

James - April 12, 2013

North Korea does pose a threat. With a leader as unstable as he is, anything could happen. we need to bolster our missle defense and continue to improve our capibilities in this area. We need to do so for protection from any country that might try to hit us. We need to be capable of destroying any rocket any where in the world that is aimed at an american or at any country that is friendly to us.

Paul Hoffman - April 12, 2013

The United States must take North Korea’s threats seriously. They have the nuclear weapons and nothing to lose. The United States needs to reengage Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea in talks with North Korea. North Korea’s pattern of behavior is to negotiate only with the United States and they always get what they want–food and aid. We have given them every reason to continue this technique. Until North Korea faces a unified front from Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States, they will never change their behavior and their posturing will only increase the danger of nuclear war.

Bobby - April 12, 2013

Some of us remember the U.S. ignored info and hints that the Japanese were going to bomb Pearl Harbor, including radar that indicated their planes were in the air, Dec. 7, 1941. All we need is a president who will stand up and bluntly warm North Korea it threatens the U.S. at its own risk.

John Campbell - April 12, 2013

Back up the USS McCain with a second missile DD
and destroy any outgoing missiles within 200 miles
of the launch zone. Navy Wins………….

zucccchini - April 12, 2013

Send the little guy and his Colonels and soldiers pictures of Reagan’s solution to Libya awhile back. If they continue their rhetoric, lobe one over to the little guy’s residence and put a hole in it along with about ten drones shooting at their armed forces leaders residences. They will either finish what they started or get off the pot.

Thomas Finnerty - April 12, 2013

We must put pressure on China to put a stop to North Korea’s threats. China is a resource center for this rogue nation, so they can stop it if they wanted to.
If China will not then we must stop them ourselves. We must knock out thier nuclear capabilities. Take that away from them they are hardly much of a threat.

Philip Chesley - April 12, 2013

These are tense times. Recent threats are too serious to rely upon the uncertainty of diplomacy. North Korea must be immediately warned that regardless of the intended target, every missile will be knocked down until we determine that a threat has passed. Valuable seconds need not be wasted in fixing each intended trajectory.

Donald Butcher - April 12, 2013

Quit talking about and publishing articles concerning the
problem. Keep them in the dark and they will begin to worry about what the US is up to.. When you’re unsure
you create uncertainty’
Nuf Sed

Barb - April 12, 2013

Oh, well, if they can only hit Hawaii, don’t worry yet. We’ll wait for another Pearl Harbor. Wait – My beautiful daughter lives in Hawaii. Should I worry?

Leonard Tulman - April 12, 2013

Unless our nation stands up now to the North Korea bully and states that you shall not go further we may be reacting to a tragic attack on us in the near future

Donna - April 12, 2013

Obama administration could be using this as a distraction…… after all Pres will NOT do what he should be doing. He’d rather cut our defense instead of carrying a big stick for all the world to see DON’T mess with US>

Andrew Burns - April 13, 2013

Of course, the North Korean government is a threat to the United States; but so is the Obama Administration which is probably legally unqualified as well as functionally unqualified.

Randall Knight - April 13, 2013

as a Vet, i have never understood why the US places embargos on its enemies except for food and medical supplies. why would a nation feed and assist in maintaining a healthy enemy is beyond me.

Roger - April 14, 2013

Forget world opinion which is always against the US no matter what it does. And forget drawing red lines in the sand. Take action and end the debate. In simultaneous strikes, the US should drop nonnuclear dirty bombs on the North Korean and Iranian nuclear weapon development sites, rendering the sites in inhabitable for centuries.

Ron Dvorak - April 14, 2013

Easy answer: Send in Seal Team #6 to nab the spoiled little brat (and his top generals if possible). Bring him back here …. spank him harshly, send him to his room for the remained of his life.

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