Tue April 9, 2013
Pacific Commander: U.S. Can Intercept North Korean Missiles
The commander of the U.S. Pacific Command said Tuesday that American forces currently have the ability to intercept a North Korean ballistic missile.
Adm. Samuel Locklear, speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, was asked by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., if the U.S. had the ability to intercept a North Korean missile launched "within the next several days."
McCain: "Would you recommend such action?"
"If [it] was in defense of the homeland, I would certainly recommend that action, and if it was in defense of our allies, I would recommend that action," Locklear said.
In case of a North Korean launch, "we should have a sense of where it's going to be aimed," he added. "If we don't, it doesn't take long for us to determine where it's going and where it's going to land."
He said that Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles was a clear threat to the United States and its allies in the Pacific, and that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un remained untested and unpredictable.