A top U.S. military officer told Congress on Tuesday that North Korea has missiles that can reach the United States, though the communist regime still lacks the accuracy for a precise strike.
Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the reclusive regime’s most recent missile test on July 4 showed that “they clearly have the capability” to reach the United States, Yahoo News reported.
“I … am not sanguine that the test on the Fourth of July demonstrates that they have the capacity to strike the United States with any degree of accuracy or reasonable confidence of success,” Selva said.
North Korea’s most recent test was timed to coincide with Independence Day in the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson condemned the test in a statement issued shortly after, calling on other nations to step up pressure and indicating that the United States will bring the incident up with the U.N. Security Council in order to enact stronger measures.
“Testing an ICBM represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world,” Tillerson said. “As we, along with others, have made clear, we will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.”
Tillerson reiterated in the same statement that the United States is currently only seeking “peaceful denuclearization.”
North Korea released footage of the July 4 launch on the day after the test. The missile traveled a full trajectory of 1,730 miles and covered around 575 horizontal miles, landing in the Sea of Japan, according to Yahoo News.
Despite technically having the range to reach the United States, the North still has neither the technology to re-enter the atmosphere safely, nor the capability to build a nuclear warhead small enough to fit onto an intercontinental ballistic missile, experts say.
The North’s ability to fire the missiles from a mobile launcher is of particular concern, Selva said, since such launches are harder to track down and surveil.
“Kim Jong-un and his forces are very good at camouflage, concealment and deception,” Selva said.
From NTD Television