U.S. 'Could Strike N.Korea's Long-Range Missile Bases'

      January 17, 2011 10:48

      Walter Sharp

      Commander of the U.S. Forces Korea Gen. Walter Sharp has warned of North Korea's long-range missiles and said they must be destroyed if they pose too much of a threat to America.

      Speaking on U.S. public channel PBS on Thursday, Sharp said, "What we have to be prepared to do is to be able to, number one, deter. But if deterrence doesn't work, be prepared to respond."

      Asked if the U.S. has the capability to destroy North Korean missile bases, he said, "The alliance has that... capability to be able to do that." By "respond," he apparently meant the U.S. would strike North Korean missile bases directly.

      He also commented on U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates' speculation on Jan. 11 during his visit to China that the North would develop an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the U.S. mainland in five years. A North Korean long-range missile exploded right after its launch, but a test in 2009 could be considered a great improvement, and Gates' speculation must have been based on that development.

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