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U.S. Strategic Command chief : N. Korea `miniaturized` nuclear warheads

U.S. Strategic Command chief : N. Korea `miniaturized` nuclear warheads

Posted March. 21, 2015 07:16,   


Amid continued controversies over the proposed deployment of the U.S.-developed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea, the U.S. military has concluded that North Korea has already succeeded in making some nuclear weapons small enough to fit atop missiles.

"We know North Korea`s ambitions in terms of their demonstrated cyber, their ambitions for nuclear weapons, the tests that have already occurred," Adm. Cecil Haney, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday (local time). "And we think (North Koreans) already miniaturized some of this capability."

In a written testimony to the U.S. House appropriations subcommittee on defense on Thursday, General Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of the U.S. Forces Korea, stressed the need for a "layered" and "interoperable" ballistic missile defense capability. The "layered" missile defense is interpreted as an indication of the THAAD deployment. A THAAD missile would intercept an incoming North Korean missile at a high altitude. If the interception fails, a Patriot missile would make another attempt to shoot down the incoming missile at a low altitude.

Adm. Samuel Locklear, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, also said in a written testimony to the subcommittee that the command will continue "its efforts in maintaining a credible, sustainable ballistic missile defense" to cope with the North`s continued ballistic missile threats.