The Associated Press (AP) published a piece from its Pyongyang bureau chief late Thursday night that openly wondered if the Pentagon should even bother trying to shoot down North Korean missiles, should they target U.S. soil.
The corresponding tweet stated, “If North Korea sent missiles toward Guam or the US, could the US missile defense system shoot them down? Should it?”
The tweet included a link to a report titled ‘Pyongyang challenge: Should US shoot Kim’s missiles down?,’ which originally stated:
With North Korea threatening to send a salvo of ballistic missiles close to a U.S. military hub in the Pacific, pressure could grow for Washington to put its multibillion-dollar missile defense system into use and shoot them out of the air before they can pose a real threat.
But should it? Could it?
That’s no easy call.
AP instantly met with hostility and cries of outrage:
After seeing the reaction the tweet and report received, the AP quietly edited the opening section of its original report:
With North Korea threatening to send a salvo of ballistic missiles close to Guam, a U.S. military hub in the Pacific, pressure could grow for Washington to put its multibillion-dollar missile defense system into use and shoot them out of the air.
If U.S. territory is threatened, countermeasures are a no-brainer. But if the missiles aren’t expected to hit the island — the stated goal is to have them hit waters well offshore — should it? Could it?
It’s not an easy call.
The updated report from the AP did not include an editor’s note explaining the change from what it initially stated, nor did it state the report was updated.