As the war of words between President Trump and North Korea’s dictator intensifies, Pentagon officials tell CBN News the U.S. military stands ready to “fight tonight”.
But if North Korea takes aim at the island of Guam, could we defend a missile strike?
Pyongyang doubled down on its threats to launch missiles at Guam on Thursday, announcing a potential plan on state media for the “simultaneous fire of four Hwasong-12 (rockets).”
If the missiles landed within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of Guam, as threatened, according to UN law, they would fall within the United States’ exclusive economic zone although not their territorial waters.
“Guam has the capacity and capability proven with the THAAD battery alone to completely defend that island,” said Riki Ellison with the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance. An organization which supports the United States’ defense program.
Ellison says whatever North Korea tries to throw at the U.S. controlled territory, U.S. defenses can handle it, even multiple missiles at a time.
“They don’t have the ability to hit us because we can shoot it down.” said Ellison. “We haven’t shot anything down because they haven’t fired at us, they are just firing tests that they are doing.”
Ellison says the THAAD systems or Terminal High Altitude Defense missiles, are limited to about 44 on the island. He says U.S. ships in the area can also destroy incoming missiles.
Ellison and even Pentagon sources tell CBN News, the rush is on by North Korea to create more ballistic missiles, using technology from China and Russia.
Ellison adds, “They don’t play by our rules. They’ve put stuff in parades that we’ve never seen before and then all of sudden one launch and they are successful. That, again is showing you that is not their technology that is China’s technology.”
Others agree, and believe the recent softer rhetoric by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was directed at China to get involved now.
Yuki Tatsumi with Stimson, heads up the Japan Program. She said, “Secretary Tillerson is really offering China, now is your chance to really get serious again to work with.”
But will it work? It’s been reported the White House is quietly engaging in back channel diplomacy with North Korea and China to deescalate the current situation.