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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

There you go again, Kim Jong-un

North Korea is ready to launch an intermediate-range ballistic missile within a day or so, AGAIN, according to two U.S. officials with the latest intelligence. Perhaps the launching of a Musudan missile is to symbolize love and peace in this American presidential season in spite of North Korea being defiant of UN sanctions.

It was not stated precisely what the latest satellite imagery showed indicating a launch so close to the election.

What's interesting about the Musudan missile is that it can be launched from road-mobile launchers that are easy to hide off highways and in thick mountainous terrain.

So while the Russians are ostensibly hacking Hillary Clinton's emails to influence the election, it seems that Pyongyang is trying to do something similar--one of their launches came just before the final presidential debate while top South Korean leaders were visiting Washington.

"In this case, I think it's a real test," said Jeffrey Lewis, a Middlebury Institute of International Studies scholar said. Professor Lewis specializes in North Korea. "They are going to keep firing until it works," he added, being fully cognizant of the tenacity the North Koreans have when it comes to blowing stuff up.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution condemning North Korea's nuclear test in January and the long-range launch that put the satellite in space. Resolution 2270 calls on North Korea to desist further tests and immediately suspend all ballistic missile program activities.

On Monday, a U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarine, the USS Pennsylvania, visited the U.S. territory of Guam. The Pennsylvania can carry 24 Trident D-5 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with a range of 7,500 miles, capable of annihilating any city in the world while submerged.

Each Trident can carry multiple warheads, each being more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in WWII.

But even with all our fire power, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that getting North Korea to abandon its goal of getting nuclear weapons is probably a "lost cause."

North Korea tried two launches earlier last month but they both failed. Defense Secretary Ash Carter vowed an "overwhelming" response if we or our allies were to be attacked. Secretary of State John Kerry said that we would deploy an advanced anti-missile system, THAAD, "as soon as possible."

Hillary Clinton let them know that "it would take four minutes."