North Korea successfully launched a missile from a submarine on Tuesday. That missile could have been positioned outside of New York city and could have been armed with North Korea’s rocket-ready nuclear bombs. This makes the North Korean Missile Crisis the functional equivalent of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The President’s policy is to place anti-missile missiles around North Korea and, presumably, to track North Korean submarines with our submarines. This is not a safe strategy. There is no guarantee that our missiles will knock out a large barrage of North Korean missiles if fired at Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, or a U.S. military base in Asia. Nor is there a guarantee that we will take out a North Korean submarine before it takes out a major U.S. city.
The policy I would implement were I President is an immediate, militarily-enforced moratorium on North Korean missile launches of any kind from any location and by any means. I would declare this moratorium in the context of offering to recognize North Korea’s independence and sign a peace treaty conditional on North Korea immediately eliminating, subject to the strictest unfettered inspection, all existing nuclear weapons and destroying all its nuclear weapons production and testing facilities and equipment.
There can be no doubt. North Korea is threatening the lives of every American, whether they live in a Salt Lake City or Atlantic City, at an accelerating pace. No President, including President Obama, can properly claim to be maintaining the security of our country while permitting ongoing missile launches by North Korea.
As I made clear again today, there are only three viable candidates in the race for President — myself, Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton. I have yet to hear any reaction to North Korea’s missile launch from either my opponents. Their silence speaks loudly to the relative weight they place on their election success and America’s security.
Yes, what I’m proposing risks war, indeed nuclear war. North Korea also has an enormous array of conventional weaponry in very close proximity to South Korea’s capital, Seoul. So confronting North Korea in this manner risks more than American lives. It risks the lives of South Koreans, Japanese, and even Chinese. But the alternative — to do nothing, to watch our sworn enemy develop the sure means of our destruction — is far riskier than confronting our foe immediately when we have the means to defend ourselves at the lowest likely cost.
Our country has survived from the beginning — Lexington, Massachusetts, April 19, 1775 — because it stands its ground. This is another of those terrible times when we need to stand our ground and protect our nation in the face of unknown, but certain risk.
It’s instructive to reread President Kennedy’s address to the nation at the onset of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It includes these words,
Neither the United States of America nor the world community of nations can tolerate deliberate deception and offensive threats on the part of any nation, large or small. We no longer live in a world where only the actual firing of weapons represents a sufficient challenge to a nation’s security to constitute maximum peril. Nuclear weapons are so destructive and ballistic missiles are so swift, that any substantially increased possibility of their use or any sudden change in their deployment may well be regarded as a definite threat to peace.