Image by BBC
By Adam Button
Throughout the month of September, the Korean peninsula has tested missiles which could threaten the safety of Americans across seas and possibly on the western coast.
Both the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (ROK/South Korea) have tested missiles while still being open for negotiations for peace to finally end the Korean war.
More specifically DPRK has recently launched two successful long range cruise missiles and two-to-three short ballistic missiles. The ROK has also launched their new 3,000-ton Shin Chae-ho submarine. This submarine is capable of carrying SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles).
The political ramifications of these missile launches are two-fold. On one side it is illegal for the DPRK to have any ballistic or nuclear weapons. Since the ban on such weapons was put in place by the United Nations. The other side is any diplomatic relations could become strained with the constant building of weapons.
Why is this a potential problem for the United States? With the creation and evolution of these types of missiles: cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and SLBMs, DPRK will have firepower that can rival that of America.
For example, these long-range cruise missiles could eventually reach the western coast of the United States from the Korean peninsula. That would allow DPRK to attack the United States without needing to be near us at all.
More significantly, the short-range ballistics and SLBMs only spell out more war between DPRK and ROK, possibly even Japan. With the United States aiding both ROK and Japan, this could lead to U.S. involvement if the war is not ended peacefully soon.