Since the Chinese are allowing the North Koreans to conduct this latest ICBM test that if successful would allow the North Koreans to target the US main land, the US should respond by allowing South Korea to build missiles that can target at least Beijing and Shanghai:
Washington has agreed on the need to revise a bilateral pact that limits South Korea’s ballistic missile range to 300 kilometers, defense officials said Thursday.
This is equivalent to roughly half the distance between the demilitarized zone and North Korea’s border with China.
Under an agreement reached in 2001 with the United States, Seoul restricted its ballistic missile range to 300 kilometers with a maximum payload of 500 kilograms.
“South Korea and the United States share the view that new measures should be taken to counter growing threats from North Korea’s long-range missiles,” a senior official said asking for anonymity.
“The two sides will begin talks from next month on how long the extension should be.”
Another official said that Seoul and Washington have already reached a consensus that the range should be increased to more than 800 kilometers to bring all of North Korea within reach.
The Korean Peninsula stretches about 1,030 kilometers from north to south and between 175 and 300 kilometers from west to east.
“Seoul wants to extend the range to 1,000 kilometers to cover the whole Korean Peninsula, but will need to slightly shorten this due to possible protests from China and Russia,” another official said.
He forecast that Seoul and Washington will likely conclude to extend the range to 800 kilometers, which is about the distance between the northern tip of the peninsula to Daegu or Gunsan in North Jeolla Province. [Korea Times]
Taking some measurements on Google Earth the 800 kilometer limit would put Beijing outside the range of the missiles anywhere in South Korea. They need at least a 1,000 kilometer range missile to hit Beijing from around the Seoul area. A 800 kilometer missile on the other hand can hit Shanghai when placed near Gwangju.