The United States and North Korea appear headed for a military conflict, and it could be the first war fought in space.
North Korea’s rapidly-advancing development of intercontinental ballistic missiles, and its open threats to use them to launch a nuclear strike on the United States, have the U.S. Congress rushing to develop spaced-based missile defense systems.
The Washington Times reports:
…the concept is getting new life as North Korea’s fast-paced pursuit of nuclear ICBMs has spurred talk of more missile defense in general. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill see an opening this year to push forward with the long-debated expansion of America’s missile shield in space, including sensors and even interceptors reminiscent of President Reagan’s proposal.
Both the House and Senate have agreed in their annual defense policy bills that the U.S. should pursue what Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, calls the “unblinking eye,” an array of orbiting satellite sensors that could collect high-quality launch data on future ballistic missiles from North Korea or other adversaries.
The tracking data could be used to better direct existing defenses on the ground, from regional defense on the Korean peninsula such as the Lockheed Martin Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or ground-based interceptors on the West Coast. Sullivan spearheaded legislation in the Senate’s National Defense Authorization Act that would provide $27.5 million toward the development, launch, and demonstration of the space-based sensor layer...
…Trump has ordered the Pentagon to conduct a Ballistic Missile Defense Review, which will likely include space-based sensors, by the end of the year.
If North Korea were to fulfill its promises to launch missiles at the U.S., and the U.S. were to respond with space-based defense systems, it would be the first military conflict fought in space.
North Korea already has a space program, with successful satellite launches.