Reuters reports: Not everybody asserts as confidently as the Pentagon that the U.S. military can defend the United States from the growing threat posed by North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile capability.
Pyongyang’s first test on Tuesday of an ICBM with a potential to strike the state of Alaska has raised the question: How capable is the U.S. military of knocking down an incoming missile or barrage of missiles?
Briefing reporters on Wednesday, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said: “We do have confidence in our ability to defend against the limited threat, the nascent threat that is there.”
Davis cited a successful test in May in which a U.S.-based missile interceptor knocked down a simulated incoming North Korean ICBM. But he acknowledged the test program’s track program was not perfect.
“It’s something we have mixed results on. But we also have an ability to shoot more than one interceptor,” Davis said.
An internal memo seen by Reuters also showed that the Pentagon upgraded its assessment of U.S. defenses after the May test.
Despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent on a multi-layered missile defense system, the United States may not be able to seal itself off entirely from a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile attack. [Continue reading…]