NORTH KOREA’S ICBM
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.”
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.