US: North Korea on “Inevitable”  Path to Nuclear ICBM

US: North Korea on “Inevitable” Path to Nuclear ICBM

North Korea-if left unchecked-is on an “inevitable” path to obtaining a nuclear-armed missile capable of striking the United States, a senior US defense official says.
The remarks by Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart at a Senate hearing on Wednesday are the latest indication of mounting US concern over Pyongyang’s advancing missile and nuclear weapons programs, which the North says are needed for self-defense, Reuters reported.
US lawmakers pressed Stewart and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to estimate how far away North Korea was from obtaining an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the United States.
They repeatedly declined to offer an estimate, but Stewart warned the panel the risk was growing.
“If left on its current trajectory, the regime will ultimately succeed in fielding a nuclear-armed missile capable of threatening the United States homeland,” Stewart said.
“While nearly impossible to predict when this capability will be operational, the North Korean regime is committed and is on a pathway where this capability is inevitable.”
John Schilling, a missile expert contributing to Washington’s 38 North think-tank, estimated it would take until at least 2020 for North Korea to be able to develop an ICBM capable of reaching the US mainland and until 2025 for one powered by solid fuel.
But Coats acknowledged gaps in US intelligence about North Korea and the thinking of its leader Kim Jong-un.
He cited technological factors complicating US intelligence gathering, including gaps in surveillance and reconnaissance, which rely on assets such as spy satellites and drone aircraft.
Last month, US President Donald Trump called the North Korean leader a “madman with nuclear weapons” during a telephone call with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, according to a transcript of an April 29 conversation released by US media on Tuesday.  
“We can’t let a madman with nuclear weapons let on the loose like that. We have a lot of firepower, more than he has, times 20. But we don’t want to use it,” Trump said, citing “two nuclear submarines” the Pentagon sent to the area.  

Short URL : https://goo.gl/OjuOvX
  1. https://goo.gl/kCvJdx
  • https://goo.gl/Cyd3wz
  • https://goo.gl/x3Bhu7
  • https://goo.gl/3AHwu7
  • https://goo.gl/rG7OV2

You can also read ...

Palestinians Slam US Embassy Move as Provocation
The Palestinian leadership on Friday slammed a US decision to...
No End in Sight for Crisis With Qatar, Says Saudi Minister
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister pointed out on Friday that...
Signaling Rift, Djibouti Seizes  UAE-Run Port
The government of Djibouti has seized control of a container...
Twin Car Bombings Kill Nearly 40 in Somalia's Mogadishu
Twin car bombings and subsequent gunfire have left at least 38...
Donald Trump speaks during the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference  at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on February 23.
US President Donald Trump has rolled out fresh sanctions...
The United Nations said earlier this month that more than 10,000 civilians had  been killed or wounded in the ongoing  war in Afghanistan in 2017.
Taliban militants attacked an Afghan army post overnight on...
EU Opens Door for Balkan States, But Hurdles Remain
The European Union has offered some of the six Balkan states...
German Conservatives Call for Shift to Right as Merkel Decides Cabinet Posts
Several senior German conservatives called on Saturday for...

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints