They Just Might Do It Anyway

While the regime of Kim Jong Un is consolidating power, North Korea has given every indication it will proceed with a planned mid April launch of a long-range ballistic missile with a satellite aboard, said Peter Lavoy, acting assistant secretary of defense for Asia and Pacific security affairs. Lavoy told the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday that the launch would be “highly provocative” because it would reflect Pyongyang’s desire to expand its long-range ballistic missile capabilities and is in defiance of United Nations resolutions prohibiting its from launching ballistic missiles. Already the United States has voided a recent bilateral agreement with Pyongyang on food aid, said Lavoy. The United States has very little confidence in the stability of the launch and where the missile’s actual impact would be, he added. Several countries could be affected with debris, such as Japan and South Korea, and the intended impact area is likely close to Indonesia and the Philippines, he said. “I can assure you that we’re consulting with all of the countries affected about measures to be taken,” he said. (Lavoy’s written testimony)