N. Korea Capable of Nuclear Strike at US, Military Leader Says

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N. Korea Capable of Nuclear Strike at US, Military Leader Says




Top U.S. military officials believe North Korea is now capable of launching a nuclear-armed missile at the United States.

“Our assessment is that they have the ability to put a nuclear weapon on a KN-08 and shoot it at the homeland,” Admiral William Gortney, commander of the U.S. Northern Command, told reporters Tuesday during a Pentagon briefing. "We assess that it’s operational today, and so we practice to go against it.”

Gortney cautioned that U.S. officials have yet to see Pyongyang test the KN-08, which so far has been displayed only during military parades. But he called the U.S. assessment a “prudent decision.”

The "mobile nature" of the KN-08 has left U.S. officials concerned about losing "our ability to get the indications that something might occur,” Gortney said. Still, he said he had “high confidence” that U.S. missile systems would be capable of defending the country from a potential North Korean strike.

This is not the first time U.S. officials have warned of the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

In a written statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee in February, National Intelligence Director James Clapper warned that Pyongyang had taken “initial steps” toward fielding the KN-08.

As far back as October 2014, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, General Curtis Scaparrotti, was cautious in downplaying North Korean claims that it could deliver a nuclear warhead.

“They've had the right connections, and so I believe [they] have the capability to have miniaturized a device at this point,” Scaparrotti said. “They have the technology to potentially actually deliver what they say they have.”

A report issued Tuesday by the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies said Pyongyang has about 1,000 ballistic missiles capable of reaching South Korea and Japan. But it also said North Korea faces “significant problems” with its longer-range missiles.

The report’s authors concluded North Korea would need help from foreign technology to be able to hit the U.S. accurately.
 
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Potentially, it is possible, but I don't think this military official is thinking on present terms. As far as we can tell, the N. Koreans don't yet have the capability to take that last step: the enrichment capability that would allow them to make a nuke small enough to fit a warhead.
 
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Best thing to do is to make the assumption that the N Koreans with the help of Russian scientists are capable of miniaturizing nukes and prepare for the worst. But N Koreans, according to one of their government officials, have no intention of firing nukes at the U.S. But since the country can sell the weapons to anyone [including Iran] which wants nuclear weapons, heeding such warnings would be good for everyone.
 
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I think it's entirely reasonable to suggest that North Korea has the capability to perform a nuclear strike on the US or any country for that matter.

I think the real question should be would they be willing to do so? Attacking any nation isn't just a case of pressing a button. Imagine the backlash they would face worldwide if they even threatened to do this, never mind actually doing it.

Besides with intelligence as good as it is these days, the US would know well before this kind of threat even became an issue.
 
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Well we all know what to expect when they US claims that another nation has nuclear weapons. Does Iraq ring a bell? The US needs to stop this nonsense now.
 
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Well that is true @Rowe992 Although I do think this is slightly different. The US has no interests in North Korea such as oil etc so I don't see a reason NOT to believe them this time.

North Korea is a ticking time bomb in my opinion, nuclear weapons or not, I think we have to keep a very wary eye on what's going on when it comes to this country...
 
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In fact it's the North Korean's themselves who were bragging that they'd miniaturized nuclear weapons and now they have the ability to hit the U.S and maybe Europe if they so desire, with their nuclear ICBMs.
 
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Didn't they also say they had won the world cup as well though?

I think I'm more likely to believe the US than what I am to believe anything that comes out of that country.

North Korea as well as other countries definitely have more capabilities than what they officially say, it's what they intend to do with them that's the biggest issue I think.
 
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Why haven't we assassinated Kim Jong-Un yet? If ever there was a tyrant that needed to go down its him. His country would thank us for it. As a matter of fact, if the people had Internet access and electricity they would probably ask us to.
 
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I think if we go around assassinating every leader we feel is a threat, then half the countries in the world would be targeted.

There's no doubt that he's a loose cannon and could be very dangerous, at the moment though, north Korea seen to be a country with a lot of talk but not a great deal of action.
 

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