September 29, 2014 11:47
North Korea is inching towards developing nuclear-tipped mobile missiles, claimed Adm. Samuel Locklear, the outgoing commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.
"That particular security issue remains kind of foremost in my mind, particularly as we look at the potential, you know, weaponization of nuclear material and the ability to put these things -- on road-mobile missiles," Locklear said.
So far South Korea and the U.S. have said that the North has not made much progress in miniaturizing its nuclear weapons sufficiently to mount them on missiles.
Locklear made the remarks last Thursday in a meeting with correspondents at the U.S. Defense Department.
"In general, peace and prosperity has been maintained in the Asia-Pacific," he said. "Now, there's a lot of -- been a lot of changes in that environment."
"North Korea continues to be extremely dangerous, and I don't see an end state at this point in time for North Korea," he added.
A spokesman for the Defense Ministry here said Locklear's remarks reflect U.S. worries about the nuclear threat from the North."
The North has already deployed or is developing various ballistic missiles that could in theory be tipped with nuclear warheads, but the warheads themselves are believed to lie beyond the scope of the North's ability so far.
Pyongyang has recently tested a range of missiles and rockets fired from mobile launch platforms.
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