NORTH KOREA’S ICBM

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation -

Re­cent con­gres­sional tes­ti­mony con­firmed North Korea’s de­vel­op­ment of a new lon­grange, road-mo­bile mis­sile that can reach Amer­i­can shores, in­creas­ing the threat of a nu­clear at­tack on the United States.

“There is de­vel­op­ment within North Korea of a road-mo­bile in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile sys­tem that we’ve ob­served,” Adm. Robert F. Wil­lard, com­man­der of the U.S. Pa­cific Com­mand, told the House Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee on Fri­day.

“We have not ob­served it be­ing tested yet, to my knowl­edge. We are watch­ing the de­vel­op­ment very closely.”

The new mo­bile mis­sile was first re­ported by The Washington Times on Dec. 5.

The road-mo­bile ICBM bol­sters North Korea’s al­ready-de­ployed launch-pad-fired Tae­podong-2 mis­sile that has been tested.

The new mis­sile is also rais­ing con­cerns in the U.S. in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity that North Korea will sell the mis­sile to Iran, as it has done with past medium-range Nodong mis­siles.

Adm. Wil­lard said the mo­bile mis­sile is “ad­ver­tised to be sig­nif­i­cant in terms of its range ca­pa­bil­ity.”

The ad­mi­ral, who re­tires this month, said once the mis­sile is proven, “there will be a decision made with re­gard to how we pos­ture to deal with what could be some­thing less pre­dictable than Tae­podong-2 or some of the other bal­lis­tic mis­sile ca­pa­bil­i­ties that are a lit­tle more easy to ob­serve.”

Road-mo­bile mis­siles are much harder to de­tect and counter than static mis­siles. They are usu­ally solid-fu­eled, al­low­ing them to be fired much faster than liq­uid-fu­eled mis­siles.

Un­der ques­tion­ing from Rep. Michael R. Turner, Ohio Re­pub­li­can, Adm. Wil­lard said the new North Korean mo­bile ICBM would cause an in­crease in mis­sile de­fense ef­forts.

“I think that’s one of the pos­ture op­tions that will have to be con­sid­ered, yes,” he said.

On Tues­day, Mr. Turner again raised the new North Korean mis­sile dur­ing a hear­ing on mis­sile de­fenses.

“A rogue mo­bile in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile would be a pro­found leap for­ward in North Korea’s bal­lis­tic mis­sile tech­nol­ogy,” Mr. Turner asked.

Bradley H. Roberts, deputy as­sis­tant de­fense sec­re­tary for mis­sile de­fense and nu­clear pol­icy, ac­knowl­edged at a sub­com­mit­tee hear­ing that the new mis­sile poses a “di­rect threat” to the United States. come­back and had car­ried out more at­tacks in two months this year than it did in the sec­ond half of 2011, when the U.S. mil­i­tary was pulling out.

A U.S. of­fi­cial said the come­back does not mean the group has re­gained the strength it had in the past. our lever­age to­gether in the Asia-pa­cific, par­tic­u­larly in those ar­eas of the com­mons that are not un­der na­tional sovereignty.”

The four-star gen­eral said Chi­nese weaponry is chal­leng­ing.

“They are im­prov­ing, which is why I ar­gue . . . we, too, need to im­prove. Be­ing static is not the place Amer­ica wants to be.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS PHO­TO­GRAPHS

Adm. Wil­liam H. Mcraven, head of the U.S. Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Com­mand, says spe­cial op­er­a­tions forces will be used in­creas­ingly through­out the world for both coun­tert­er­ror­ism op­er­a­tions and train­ing.

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