The North Korean government released a photo last week with missile strike plans visible in the background. The inclusion of Austin, Texas confused many, but not Texas Governor Rick Perry. He understands why the North Koreans would want to do away with the city.
The Texas governor and former presidential candidate told CBS News during an interview Wednesday that North Korea put very important American cities on the map. Perry said:
“Economically what has happened in Texas over the course of the last decade has made this city an epicenter for a lot of technology, a lot of economic development, and I think the individuals in North Korea understand that Austin, Texas is now a very important city in America as do corporate CEOs and other people who are moving here in record numbers.”
The picture appeared in Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea. The newspaper is the most widely read paper in North Korea. The picture appeared under the headline, “Kim Jong Un Convenes Operation Meeting, Finally Examines and Ratifies Plan for Firepower Strike.”
The image also includes an attack on Washington, D.C., which is known to be well outside of North Korea’s strike range. Austin, too. The only state even vaguely within range of North Korean missiles is Alaska, and while any strike against the US mainland would be one strike too many, American populations do not get much sparser than southwest Alaska. The state is not only the least densely populated in the country, it is one of the least densely populated places in the world.
CBS Houston reports that officials in Austin are keeping an eye on the situation and willing to do whatever federal officials feel may be necessary to protect civilians. One city official skipped the lip service.
“We know that being in the heart of the country that terrorism is an issue for us,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told a CBS affiliate. “It’s something we have to be vigilant on, but as it relates to the specific threat of them firing missiles over here, I can guarantee they don’t have the long-range capacity to hit Austin, Texas.”
But Rick Perry is right, Austin is a very important city. And when it comes to North Korea, you can never been too careful.