Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Silver Lining in N. Korea's Missile Test

A Rare Opportunity for Assessment

Some consolation amid a looming crisis….

North Korea's planned missile launch is both a potential security threat and a potential intelligence bonanza, as reported here. AP reports the United States is preparing to track the rocket from "the first flash of heat" with the aid of an advanced, sea-based radar system; and the resulting intelligence could answer important questions about the strengths and weaknesses of Pyongyang's missile program, including its dependence on stockpiles of foreign components, "likely from Russia."

Comment: Given another 5-10 years of such intelligence bonanzas, the U.S. could be debating how best to defend Los Angeles--or Washington, DC--from nuclear-tipped North Korean (and Iranian) missiles. As former U.S, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has said, if the international community can't stop impoverished North Korea from testing long-range missiles and nuclear weapons, then, the term international community no longer has any real meaning.