With sanctions already in place against North Korea, even Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, R-California, admits adding more will have little impact (“Obama to unveil cyber security initiatives” online Jan. 13).
The best way to increase our protection from the North Korean threat is work directly on technologies to neuter this rogue state. Congress should overhaul America’s cyber defenses to prevent another Sony hack and modernize our ground-based mid-course defense (GMD) missile shield that defends against a North Korean nuclear missile threat.
In recent weeks, both American and South Korean military leaders warned about North Korea miniaturizing its nuclear weapons to fit on their Taepondong-II missile, which can reach America’s west coast. Satellite images showed them retrofitting their submarine to fire their missiles. And by next year, they could have as many as 20 nuclear weapons.
Nine successful tests have proven GMD works, but regular upgrades are needed to keep pace with the growing threat. More interceptors must be deployed as North Korea’s nuclear arsenal grows. Building improved radars and launch sensors are needed to better track enemy missiles. And more live-fire-tests are essential to improve the system’s performance.
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Lt. Col. James D. Stitt II
U.S. Army (ret.)