HASC Lawmakers Take POTUS to Task on North Korea
Along with six other House Armed Services Committee national security leaders, I sent a letter to President Obama decrying the Administration’s position on missile defense and nuclear weapons in light of continued North Korean provocations.
In defiance of the international community, the North conducted its third nuclear test on February 12, 2013. Though I have little confidence in their effect, the UN responded with a fresh round of sanctions on Pyongyang. Inexplicably, the North responded by threatening both a nuclear strike on our country and to tear up the Armistice ending the Korean War.
These actions demonstrate the aggressive conduct and unpredictability of North Korea’s political leadership. Given the uncertainty surrounding the regime, it’s just wrong that President Obama continues to fund missile defense below acceptable levels and talks about cutting our nuclear deterrent even further. Our allies in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan are not reassured of our commitments when the Administration responds to North Korean missile and nuclear testing with calls for a “world free of nuclear weapons” and antagonism to strategic missile defenses. Despite repeated sanctions, Pyongyang continues down the road to deploying road-mobile long-range missiles and nuclear weapons development.
It’s time for the President to stop ignoring reality and fully fund strategic missile defense and nuclear weapons modernization programs that will secure America and reassure our regional allies.
The letter is signed by Reps. Mike Rogers (AL-3), Joe Wilson (SC-2), Mike Coffman (CO-6), Mo Brooks (AL-5), Rob Bishop (UT-1) and Jim Bridenstine (OK-1).
President Barack Obama
The White House
Dear President Obama:
In view of the North Korean government’s apparent abrogation of the armistice agreement and threats to launch a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the American people, I am writing to urge you to reassess your administration’s defense and security posture toward the Kim regime and its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. In view of its reckless actions, your Administration can no longer ignore the threat of a nuclear-armed North Korea.
In 2011, Secretary Gates warned that, with its continued development of long-range missiles, a potentially road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, and nuclear weapons, North Korea was “in the process of becoming a direct threat to the United States.” Today, this reality is upon us; the North Koreans are deploying this new road mobile ICBM. This capability combined with the recent, apparently successful, nuclear test may enable the Pyongyang regime to deploy a nuclear warhead that could threaten the continental United States.
It is not enough, however, to reverse the significant cuts on our missile defenses since you came to office in 2009. It is also time to strengthen our defensive and offensive cooperation with allies. The Proliferation Security Initiative, which has languished under your Administration, must be strengthened with increased interdiction. And, of course, now is plainly not the time for more arbitrary reductions to U.S. nuclear forces, especially when our allies have made abundantly clear, they will deploy their own nuclear weapons if they no longer feel protected by ours.
We must stand unwaveringly with our South Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese allies, and deepen our military cooperation in every practical way in the face of this threat from North Korea.
Each and every entity violating international sanctions on North Korea, must immediately be frozen out of global commerce. Urgent action must be taken to undo your devastating reductions to our missile defenses.
Your administration must respond to these explicit and obvious threats to the American People.