Pyongyang (GPA) – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) tested another ballistic missile over the weekend and the reception among US media and government has been predictably quiet.
The missile test occurs at the same time the US is preparing to carry out a missile intercept drill off the coast of California. The US exercise seems to have been planned as a show of strength to the DPRK as a signal that any missiles they launch at the US or their allies could be blown out of the sky, but there was one problem, the new missiles tested by Pyongyang belong to a new class similar to the SCUD and would greatly limit possible response times.
It appears the DPRK has finally gotten their solid fuel missiles systems on line, which would allow for much faster deployment and launches from underground facilities. This new technology has now put the US in an even more precarious position than they already were.
Despite Trump’s increasingly harsh rhetoric following every missile test by the DPRK, this weekend’s response has been uncharacteristically quiet. This was reflected by officials from the Trump administration who came out over the past few days to voice the new US position in a new, more tepid tone.
The main voice from the US to come out was Defense Secretary James Mattis who appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation promoting a path to resolving the North Korean conflict previously unheard from the White House. First, Mattis admitted that a military solution to the North Korean question was probably unlikely since it would be “probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetime.”
Mattis is apparently a changed man, saying something almost unheard of in his interview, “The bottom line is it would be a catastrophic war if this turns into a combat if we’re not able to resolve this situation through diplomatic means.” Diplomatic means? It seems the new administration is learning a fact that was already known to most observers, you can’t bomb your way out of the questions concerning the DPRK.
Add the new missile technology to the seemingly improved range of North Korean weapons and it’s no surprise why the tough talk from the White House has died down. It seems Trump has learned (possibly with help from Chinese President Xi Jinping) that there’s no bluffing you way to toppling the government of Kim Jong Un.