Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said Tuesday that a real North Korea missile launch toward Hawaii is ‘not far-fetched’ and the U.S. must be serious about the possibility following a false and harrowing alert on the island over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the House Armed Services Committee chairman said the military is making plans for a potential war with the regime as it barrels ahead with a nuclear missile program despite international sanctions and condemnation.
Hawaiian officials said an employee had mistakenly clicked the wrong link during a shift change on Saturday, sending out an incoming missile alert to the public that sent residents scrambling for safety.
“It is not far-fetched that one of those missiles may be headed towards not only Hawaii but the mainland somewhere,” Thornberry said during a breakfast with defense reporters. “We need to be serious about, not panicking, but serious about that possibility.”
The false alert came as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have reached the highest point in years as the regime continues to test long-range missiles that may be capable of hitting U.S. cities with a nuclear warhead.
The Trump administration has reportedly been weighing a “bloody nose” strategy that would use a limited strike on the North as a show of force and deterrent to the missile program.
“After the fall of the Berlin Wall, we were in a mindset that basically we don’t have to worry about these things anymore,” Thornberry said. “North Korea has reminded us we do have to worry about these things.”
Thornberry said the Trump administration and military are tweaking long-standing plans and conducting a course “correction” in dealing with the North Korean regime and any possible war.
“I think they are very serious and that is only prudent to do so,” he said. “We need to be prepared for a North Korea contingency and we need to show that we are prepared. I think that the military has those preparations underway.”