‘ASYM­MET­RIC THREATS’

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics -

Army Gen. James D. Thur­man, com­man­der of U.S. mil­i­tary forces in Korea, out­lined what he said is a con­tin­u­ing threat to North­east Asia and the world from North Korea’s mil­i­tary, mis­siles and weapons of mass de­struc­tion.

“I think what you see with the North Korean threat to­day, what causes me the big­gest con­cern, are the de­vel­op­ment of asym­met­ric threats,” he said.

Those threats in­clude mis­siles, long-range ar­tillery, spe­cial op­er­a­tions forces, chem­i­cal and bi­o­log­i­cal weapons, cy­ber­war­fare ca­pa­bil­i­ties and 1.1 mil­lion troops — 73 per­cent of whom are de­ployed near the bor­der with South Korea.

The four-star gen­eral, who is re­tir­ing af­ter nearly 40 years in the mil­i­tary, also was asked about North Korea’s new road-mo­bile in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile, dubbed the KN-08. He said it poses a se­ri­ous threat be­cause of the dif­fi­culty of track­ing and tar­get­ing the hard-to-find sys­tems.

“That is a sys­tem that’s in their port­fo­lio that we re­main con­cerned about,” Gen. Thur­man said.

“We’ve ob­served it dur­ing two mil­i­tary pa­rades in Py­ongyang. It’s dif­fi­cult to as­sess the full op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­ity of that sys­tem. Of con­cern to us, ob­vi­ously, is the rogue mo­bile ca­pa­bil­ity and our abil­ity to de­tect that.”

The new mis­sile, de­ployed on a Chi­nese-made trans­porter-erec­tor launcher, shows North Korea’s drive to build long-range mis­siles.

“They’ve openly stated that they’re de­vel­op­ing the ca­pa­bil­ity to strike the con­ti­nen­tal United States, and we take that very se­ri­ous,” Gen. Thur­man said.

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