Despite hopes that the North Korean regime is turning over a new leaf and becoming friendlier to its neighbors and to the West, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer is not so optimistic.
The U.S. should help Japan shoot down a North Korean missile if Pyongyang chooses to launch a satellite over Japan, Krauthammer said on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report with Bret Baier” Friday.
“So the question is — North Korea is going to launch a missile, or it says it will. It’s supposedly a satellite, but it’s essentially an intercontinental ballistic missile. Should we shoot it down?” Krauthammer asked.
“The answer is yes, if we can.”
Following the death of hardline leader Kim Jong Il, Western observers hoped that his young and untested successor Kim Jong Un would abandon many of his father’s saber-rattling policies.
That hope seemed to be fulfilled when North Korea agreed to cancel missile and nuclear tests in exchange for desperately needed U.S. food aid. U.S. officials warn that the long-range rocket launch — with a satellite on board — would jeopardize the recent agreement.
Krauthammer warned that the U.S. should take no chances with Pyongyang’s new leadership and should send a strong message by helping Japan shoot down the rocket. (RELATED: North Korean regime ‘on its last legs,’ but could still threaten US, says former Bush adviser)
“If it goes over Japan — Japan has said it will shoot it down if it can — we ought to help them and support them as a way to support our allies who are being intimidated, and second, to say to the nuclear regime in Pyongyang, you might have walked all over us in acquiring a nuke, but we’re not going to allow you to acquire the means to deliver it to Alaska or San Francisco or Los Angeles.”