US Prepares to Shoot Down North Korea Test Missile

If Long-Range Missile Test Was Going to Raise Tensions, What Would Destroying It Mid-Flight Do?

Reports have persisted for weeks that North Korea is preparing a test-fire of a long-range missile, potentially over Japan. Though North Korea says that it is actually planning to launch a communication satellite into orbit, the US sees that as cover for a missile test, and is preparing to respond.

Now it seems that response might not be restricted to the always-threatened talk of additional sanctions against the nation. ABC News quotes Pacific Command head Admiral Timothy Keating as saying the military is prepared to shoot the missile down if the president orders it.

Despite US warnings against the North Korean government not to act provocatively, the act of destroying a test missile seems at least as provocative as firing one, and with North Korea saying they are ready for war such a move would likely further harm relations between the two nations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.