U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said North Korea has “been skating very close to a dangerous line” and should tone down its “bellicose rhetoric” to defuse tensions.
“Their actions and their words have not helped defuse a combustible situation,” Hagel said today at a Pentagon news conference. He said the U.S. is “fully prepared to deal with any contingency.”
Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declined to say whether North Korea has the capability to mount a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile, while noting the regime has conducted two nuclear tests and several successful ballistic missile launches.
“In the absence of concrete evidence to the contrary, we have to assume the worst case,” Dempsey said at the news conference.
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