A South Korean spy/intelligence agency says that North Korea is getting ready to launch a new round of missiles. This is spiking new concerns of a clash between the regime and a coalition of American, Japanese, and South Korean forces should a test accidentally strike land.
According to Foreign Policy, the South Korean spy agency “is closely following the developments because there is a possibility that North Korea could fire an array of ballistic missiles this year under the name of a satellite launch and peaceful development of space, but in fact to ratchet up its threats against the United States,” South Korean lawmakers told reporters after a closed-door briefing with intelligence officials.
North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and missile programs is in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions. The communist regime has made no secret of its plans to develop a missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. It has fired two missiles over Japan.
The reclusive state appears to have carried out a recent missile engine test while brisk movements of vehicles were spotted near known missile facilities, Yi Wan-young, a member of South Korea’s parliamentary intelligence committee which was briefed by Seoul’s National Intelligence Service, said. These tests would also potentially include a nuclear test which is concerning some that Donald Trump could order a preemptive strike on Kim Jong-Un’s regime. But, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of Strategic Command, told a panel at the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday that he and Trump have discussed such scenarios and that he would tell Trump he couldn’t carry out an illegal strike.
“If it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen?” Hyten said. “I’m going to say, ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal.’ And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’ And we’ll come up with options with a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works.”
In addition to another round of missile launches, commercial satellite imagery of the Sinpo South Shipyard from November 5 indicated that North Korea is on an aggressive schedule to build and deploy its first operational ballistic missile submarine, according to 38 North.
North Korea defends its weapons programs as a necessary defense against U.S. plans to invade. The U.S. of course, has repeatedly denied the allegations that an invasion would occur.