Gabbard right with US-Korea assessment

Jul 9, 2017

Photo: Donna Smith, Executive Director – Progressive Democrats of America and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

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Hawaii’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard once again is issuing a warning about how the United States is handling the situation with North Korea, particular in light of its success Intercontinental Ballistic Missile test.

Now, some folks have previously expressed the opinion that North Korea doesn’t have the capabilities to reach the US with such weapons, and Gabbard was making a mistake and grandstanding when she previously expressed her concern about North Korea. She specifically said Hawaii was threatened because of its proximity to North Korea — a ballistic missile launched from there could reach Hawaii within 20 minutes.

Why Hawaii? Because it is home to the largest concentration of U.S. military strategic assets for well over 3,000 miles, making it a prime target for North Korea’s aggression.

Well, two things. It seems North Korea does have such capabilities, based on its recent test, and Gabbard is correct in urging cautious in dealing with this country that does not care about U.N. sanctions, doesn’t care what anyone else says, and does not seem to fear the US and is, in fact, threatening it.

“We should be worried,” said Philip E. Coyle III, a former head of the Pentagon’s test and evaluation office. North Korea’s latest success, he said, “shows that time is not on our side.”

The U.S. is stepping up its missile tests and its talks, too. On Wednesday, it said it would use its military capabilities to defend the country and its allies against a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile if necessary, but said it prefers to use its clout in international trade to address the growing threat.

Here is what Gabbard had to say Wednesday. We think her assessment is on target.

“North Korea’s latest successful intercontinental ballistic missile test further demonstrates the extremely dangerous and growing threat that North Korea poses to Hawaii, Alaska, and the mainland United States. For the past 15 years, our leaders have let the people of Hawaii and our country down, allowing the situation in North Korea to worsen to this point of crisis where we are left with nothing but bad options. We must ensure we are able to defend against North Korea’s threat with cutting-edge missile defense technologies, but this is not enough. We must pursue serious diplomatic efforts to de-escalate and ultimately denuclearize North Korea. However, U.S. leaders need to understand that Kim Jong Un maintains a tight grip on North Korea’s nuclear weapons as a deterrent against regime change. The Trump Administration would be far more credible in finding a diplomatic solution with North Korea if we weren’t currently waging a regime change war in Syria, and contemplating a regime change war in Iran.”

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