Even before the current escalation of tensions with North Korea, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker said he was “concerned” about a missile hitting his state.
“Of course I am,” Walker said in an interview for POLITICO’s "Off Message" podcast, out Tuesday and recorded recently while he was on a trip to Washington.
Walker said he has regular briefings with the military in Alaska, but pushes the federal government for more of a presence on the ground.
North Korea has been testing missiles that appear to have ever greater capacity. In response to President Donald Trump’s threatening “fire and fury” on Tuesday in response to news that the North’s leader, Kim Jong-Un, had developed key technology to miniaturize a warhead — Trump retweeted one of those reports himself on Tuesday morning — North Korea has now said it might strike Guam.
Walker said that, just as Pearl Harbor was struck to draw the United States into World War II, “we are in the trajectory zone from North Korea.”
“It’s actually, in some respects, gotten here sooner than we thought," he said. "We thought that the trajectory would be sometime in 2020. So we’re earlier than anticipated and we want to make sure that we’re well protected and everything.”
Walker said the threat of missiles had to be on his mind, as the governor of Alaska reading the headlines that keep coming.
“No one’s hiding under the desk that I know of at this point,” he said. “But we do have to make sure we have the technology and awareness of what could happen.”