The commander of U.S. military forces in the Pacific on Tuesday said he takes the threat of North Korea’s work on strategic ballistic missiles seriously, regardless of their current capabilities.
Pyongyang thus far has revealed two developmental intercontinental-ballistic missiles. The older of the two, the Taepodong 2, had its first successful test-launch nearly a year ago while the newer one, the road-mobile KN-08, has never been flight-tested.
“For our military planning perspective, when I see the KN-08 road mobile missiles that appear in a North Korean military parade, I am bound to take that serious, but for not only the peninsula but also the region, as well as my own homeland,” U.S. Pacific Command head Navy Admiral Samuel Locklear said in remarks reported on by the Yonhap News Agency.
Western missile experts are divided about just how far along Pyongyang is in its development of the KN-08, however they agree the mockups displayed at a July parade were more realistic than versions seen a year earlier.
In remarks to journalists at the Washington Foreign Press Center, the admiral said North Korea wants Washington to think it has the ability to carry out ICBM strikes on the continental United States.
“Whether they are real or not, or whether they have the capability or not, [the] North Korean regime wants us to think they do and so we plan for that” Locklear was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, A high-ranking anonymous South Korean official on Tuesday told Yonhap that while China’s recent proposal for a path to rejuvenating nuclear negotiations with North Korea was “forward-looking,” it did not go far enough in resolving U.S. and South Korean concerns. Seoul and Washington are reluctant to return to the frozen negotiations unless Pyongyang first demonstrates a concrete commitment to denuclearization.
What We're Following See More »
"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."
"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."
"Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he's met with or spoken to on the phone. ... Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel."