Top general: US missile defense is aimed at North Korea, not China, Russia, Iran

February 25, 2021

Stars and Stripes:


The United States must be prepared to shoot down North Korean missiles because “there is a chance they would actually fire [one] at us,” a top military officer said this week.

“North Korea is continuing to move forward in their capabilities, which means on the defensive side, we have to continue to move forward as well,” Air Force Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Tuesday during a webinar hosted by the Center for Strategic International Studies think tank in Washington, D.C.

“Our national missile defense capability is clearly focused on North Korea right now,” he said, “not on China, Russia and Iran.”

The U.S. should continue to develop its ability to shoot down a North Korean long-range missile, Hyten said.

“There’s a chance they would actually fire it at us,” he said. “Therefore, we want the ability to shoot it down.”

North Korea has not tested any nuclear weapons or intercontinental ballistic missiles since late 2017, but short-range missile tests have continued, and the country’s biggest ICBM was displayed during a military parade in Pyongyang in October…


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