Yonhap — U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said Sunday that North Korea could perfect its capabilities to send a nuclear-tipped missile to the continental U.S. during President Donald Trump’s first term.
“Clearly there are countries on the planet that have a lot of nuclear weapons that would overwhelm any defense that we would deploy, Russia, as an example. But the minute North Korea gets a missile that could reach the United States, puts a weapon on that missile, nuclear weapon, the instant that happens, this country is at grave risk,” Kelly said on CNN.
Asked how far away that possibility is, he said, “I think Mr. Trump will be dealing with this in real terms before he starts his second term.”
Kelly declined to comment on whether the U.S. military could shoot down a missile from the North.
Concerns about North Korean nuclear and missile threats have deepened in the U.S. since Kim said in his New Year’s Day address that the country is ready to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile apparently capable of reaching the U.S.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton also said the North could soon harm the U.S. “directly.”
“The North Koreans, this very erratic, unstable regime, may soon have the capability to harm us directly,” Bolton said on New York’s AM 970 radio. “The real objective of the Trump administration has to be to convince China that it’s in their best interest to find a way to reunify the Korean Peninsula as peacefully as possible.”
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