The US military is capable of intercepting North Korean missiles before they reach US targets, the commander of the US Northern Command and commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command said Thursday.
"I am confident in our ability to employ the Ground-based Midcourse Defense element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System to defend the Homeland against a limited long-range ballistic missile attack from North Korea," Gen. Lori Robinson said in a statement submitted for a Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing.
Gen. Lori Robinson (Yonhap)
During the hearing, Robinson was also quoted as saying the North "can't reach our homeland."
"I'm confident, should he do that," she said, referring to the North's leader Kim Jong-un.
Robinson also expressed concern the North's leader appears determined to develop viable weapons systems, unlike his father, Kim Jong-il, who she said "used missile and nuclear tests primarily to extract diplomatic concessions."
"Kim is pursuing a systematic program to develop, test, and field a viable weapon system as a deterrent to a regime-ending attack. In many cases, failed tests provide just as much insight, if not more, than a successful test," the commander said.
"Amidst an unprecedented pace of North Korean strategic weapons testing, our ability to provide actionable warning continues to diminish. North Korea's closed society and robust denial and deception capabilities challenge our ability to observe missile and nuclear test preparations," she said. (Yonhap)