Following yesterday's missile launch from North Korea, Senator Lindsey Graham joined CNN's Wolf Blitzer to warn that the U.S. is "headed to war" with the "crazy man" in North Korea "if things don't change." Here are some excerpts from the interview via RT:
The US will go to war with North Korea "if things don't change," Sen. Lindsay Graham said, acknowledging that "a lot of people would get hurt and killed." Meanwhile, Russia and China have once again urged for both sides to exercise restraint and dialogue.
"If we have to go to war to stop this, we will," the Republican senator told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday. "If there's a war with North Korea, it will be because North Korea brought it on itself, and we're headed to a war if things don't change."
Graham stated that neither he nor US President Donald Trump wants a war, but stressed that "we're not going to let this crazy man in North Korea have the capability to hit the homeland."
When asked by Blitzer about civilian casualties that would occur in a war with North Korea, including in the densely populated South Korean capital of Seoul, Graham said: "It's not lost by me what a war would look like with North Korea. One, we would win it, but a lot of people would get hurt and killed..."
However, he stressed that "the president's got to pick between homeland security and regional stability." He noted that when it comes to that decision, "the president is picking America over the region and I hope the region will help us find a diplomatic solution."
"He is ready, if necessary, to destroy this regime to protect America, and I hope the regime understands that if President Trump has to pick between destroying the North Korean regime and the American homeland, he's going to destroy the regime. I hope China understands that also," Graham said.
Of course, as we noted yesterday, according to a preliminary analysis from the Pentagon, the rocket launched by North Korea was an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, which was reported to have flown for 50 minutes, on a very high trajectory reaching 4,500 km above the earth (more than ten times higher than the orbit of Nasa’s International Space Station) before coming down nearly 1,000 km from the launch site off the west coast of Japan.
That's quite the trajectory pic.twitter.com/vQWWATN8Wc— Scott LaFoy (@wslafoy) November 28, 2017
This would make it the most powerful of the three ICBM’s North Korea has tested so far. Furthermore, the mobile night launch appeared aimed at testing new capabilities and demonstrating that Pyongyang would be able to strike back to any attempt at a preventative strike against the regime.
This is concerning for one big reason: according to General Mattis, the North Korean ICBM "went higher, frankly, than any previous" and "North Korea can basically threaten everywhere in the world." This was confirmed by North Korea missile analyst, Shea Cotton, who cited Allthingsnuclear author David Wright, and who told the BBC that the initial estimates of the ICBM test mean that North Korea can now reach New York and Washington DC.
Finally, here is opinion of David Wright, physicist and co-director of the UCS Global Security Program, whose insight on North Korean launches has emerged as one of the most informative over the past year.
North Korea’s Longest Missile Test Yet
After more than two months without a missile launch, North Korea did a middle-of-the-night test (3:17 am local time) today that appears to be its longest yet.
Reports are saying that the missile test was highly lofted and landed in the Sea of Japan some 960 km (600 miles) from the launch site. They are also saying the missile reached a maximum altitude of 4,500 km. This would mean that it flew for about 54 minutes, which is consistent with reports from Japan.
If these numbers are correct, then if flown on a standard trajectory rather than this lofted trajectory, this missile would have a range of more than 13,000 km (8,100 miles). This is significantly longer than North Korea’s previous long range tests, which flew on lofted trajectories for 37 minutes (July 4) and 47 minutes (July 28). Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, DC, and in fact any part of the continental United States.
We do not know how heavy a payload this missile carried, but given the increase in range it seems likely that it carried a very light mock warhead. If true, that means it would not be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to this long distance, since such a warhead would be much heavier.
The question now is what Trump meant when late on Tuesday, in response to a question how the US would respond to the latest ICBM launch, he said "we will handle it."