Murkowski Responds to Reports of North Korea Bomb Testing

‘We must remain vigilant and maintain a strong military presence in Alaska’

Today U.S. Senator Murkowski (R-AK) responded to recent reports of North Korea conducting a hydrogen bomb test, saying:

“North Korea just celebrated what it called a successful hydrogen bomb test. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said initial data from various monitoring sources was ‘not consistent with North Korean claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test.’ Regardless of whether North Korea’s statement is true, this is a significant event.

“Alaska is keenly aware of our proximity to North Korea and this is yet another example as to why we must remain vigilant and maintain a strong military presence in our state. Our strategic location is vital to our nation's defense, and I have continuously worked to make sure we have a robust missile defense system in Alaska in order to protect our entire nation from any potential threats. This is why I repeatedly have fought against reducing our Army force structure at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, as well as support the Air Force plan to position two F-35 squadrons at Eielson Air Force Base. And implementation of the Missile Defense Agency’s plan to site the Long Range Discrimination Radar at Clear Air Force Station near Anderson is all the more urgent given this development.

“It's short-sided to reduce force strength in Alaska when we see China landing aircraft on man-made islands in South China Sea, Putin’s general aggression in Ukraine, and North Korea’s constant threats. Why would we do anything that makes us less capable in the region?”

Murkowski serves on the Senate Defense and Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittees.