The prospect that North Korea could fire missiles at its enemies has, perhaps unsurprisingly, shone a spotlight on the ways in which potential targets could defend themselves. And when it comes to missiles, some say the best defense is more missiles. Ballistic missile defense indeed seems like a natural antidote, and though these systems have been in use for some time – and some have even intercepted their targets – the security they promise could hardly be considered absolute.
Still, South Korea is moving forward with THAAD, the Terminal High-Altitude Air Defense system, shrugging off withering pressure from both domestic constituencies and China. Japan, still toeing the line on its self-imposed ban on offensive military capabilities and well within the range of a number of North Korean missiles, is keen to accelerate the deployment of a sophisticated new version of the U.S. Aegis system. In the U.S., meanwhile, the House of Representatives’ version of the 201