“They’re going to build more and more offensive missiles to overwhelm our systems, which is the opposite of what we want them to do,” said Philip Coyle, a former Pentagon weapons tester who is now a senior science fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
The same could be said of China, he added, which worries that the missile defense systems constrain its own military capabilities.
In response to the United States sending a THAAD battery to South Korea, China has launched a pressure campaign that has included everything from boycotts of South Korean businesses to rap music videos railing against the system.
As for spending more on GMD interceptors, Coyle said the cost is too high for a system that has failed 60 percent of its tests.
The most recent test in May, the first of the system’s ability to intercept an ICBM, was successful. That single test cost $244 million and didn’t necessarily recreate real wartime conditions, Coyle said.
“North Korea keeps getting better and better, and time is not on our side,” he said, advocating for talks with Pyongyang.