Dunford says ‘matter of time’ before N. Korea can deliver nuclear weapon to U.S.

September 26, 2017

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 (Yonhap) — The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday he believes it is only a matter of time before North Korea can strike the U.S. with a nuclear weapon.

“We should assume North Korea has that capability and has the will to use that capability,” said Marine Gen. Joe Dunford during a Senate hearing on his reappointment.

While there are still technical elements the regime must overcome, he said, “I view those as engineering solutions that will be developed over time.”

“Whether it’s three months or six months or 18 months, it is soon and we ought to conduct ourselves as if it is a matter of time before North Korea has that capability.”

Dunford’s assessment has been echoed by other U.S. officials and experts, but it also comes at a time of heightened tensions over an escalating war of words between Washington and Pyongyang.

On Monday, North Korea’s foreign minister accused President Donald Trump of declaring war on his country by recently tweeting the North’s leader Kim Jong-un and his regime “won’t be around much longer.”

The minister declared Pyongyang’s right to defend itself by shooting down approaching American bombers even in international air space.

Despite the rhetoric, Dunford said, there has been no change in North Korea’s military posture.

“While the political space is clearly very charged, we haven’t seen changes in the posture of North Korea forces. We watch that very closely,” he said.

hague@yna.co.kr

8 Comments

  1. Mark

    September 26, 2017 at 10:36 PM

    I have read the news of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in which he has stated about North Korea can strike the U.S. with a nuclear weapon, this is very alarming news. Millions of people life is at risk, these conflicts should be resolved peacefully war is not a solution to a problem.
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