The top U.S. commander in the Pacific theater, Admiral Harry Harris, said Hawaii may not be protected from the North Korean nuclear missile threat. North Korea has been steadily growing its nuclear arsenal and testing the ability to deliver a miniaturized warhead to far off targets via ballistic missile. Adm. Harris stated the U.S. needed more radars and more interceptors in the Pacific.
“I don’t share your confidence that North Korea is not going to attack either South Korea, or Japan, or the United States … once they have the capability,” said Adm. Harris while testifying in front of Congress today, reported Reuters.
The contiguous U.S. territory, or CONUS, is also at risk, Adm. Harris testified. “I do believe that the numbers could be improved. In other words, we need more interceptors.”
The entire United States Senate has been invited to the White House to hear a briefing on the North Korean threat.
Adm. Harris also called out China for its aggressive behavior in the South China Sea. “We should encourage China and be appreciative of what they are doing with regards to North Korea and we should also be willing to criticize them for their aggressiveness and coerciveness in the South China Sea.”
The admiral also commented on Pyongyang’s threats to United States military forces in the region.
“The weapons that North Korea would put against the Carl Vinson strike group are easily defended by the capabilities resident in that strike group,” he said. “If it flies it will die, if it’s flying against the Carl Vinson strike group.”
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