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U.S. National Security Strategy: North Korea seeks the capability to kill millions of Americans
The 68-page report released on Monday raises concern on the rapid advancement in missile technology in “hostile states” around the world which could be a “means to use a nuclear weapon against the United States.”
It directly mentions North Korea 13 times, as a potential threat to the U.S. homeland.
Pyongyang’s new Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile launched November 29, flew a record distance of 600 miles as well as an unprecedented 2,800 miles in altitude.
If the rocket was shot from a standard angle, experts believe it could have flown 8,100 miles, putting Washington D.C. within its target range.
The report says, such missiles could mount nuclear, chemical and biological weapons which North Koreans are also seeking to acquire.
It stresses that a global response is needed to address the growing danger of seeing a nuclear-armed North Korea which could lead to proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.
“We remain ready to respond with overwhelming force to North Korean aggression and will improve options to compel denuclearization of the peninsula,” it says.
One of the priority measures mentioned is the deployment of “a layered missile defense system to defend the homeland against possible missile attacks from North Korea and Iran.”
This includes the ability to intercept missile threats prior to launch.
The report, however, says enhanced missile defense is not intended to undermine the strategic stability of China and Russia, possibly alluding to U.S. military drills in the Asia Pacific region and the deployment of the U.S. THAAD anti-missile system to South Korea.
South Korea and Japan are highlighted as key allies in building up a strong defense network in the region, and in achieving “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.”
The Trump administration pledges maintain a forward military presence capable of deterring and, if necessary, defeating any adversary.