If there was any doubt remaining about why the United States needs a missile defense system, it was dispelled recently by the actions of North Korea. Having shunned negotiations, North Korea’s nuclear brinkmanship leaves little doubt about its access to nuclear weaponry. Seven years ago the North Koreans demonstrated long-range missile capability and are now suspected of having the means to strike Hawaii, Alaska and the western United States. It recently ended its moratorium on long-range missile testing. Yet in the face of this crisis, the Defense Department’s proposed budget slashes $1 billion this year and billions more over the next five years from the only program that can protect Americans from such grave and hostile threats.