Tags: north korea | hawaii | threat | missile | interceptors

North Korea Threat to Hawaii Sparks Call for More Missile Interceptors

Image: North Korea Threat to Hawaii Sparks Call for More Missile Interceptors

U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Harry Harris Jr. testifies on Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on North Korea. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By    |   Thursday, 27 Apr 2017 12:24 PM

The chief of the U.S. Pacific Command said Wednesday that North Korea is "in a position to threaten Hawaii today," adding that the U.S. should counter that threat by adding more missile interceptors in the isolated state.

Chief Harry Harris informed the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that though there are "sufficient" interceptors at Fort Greely in Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, that’s not the case in Hawaii, which is located about 2,500 miles southwest of California, according to The Washington Post.

"I believe that our ballistic missile architecture is sufficient to protect Hawaii today, but it can be overwhelmed," Harris said, adding that if the U.S. was to be hit with a string of ballistic missiles, then "someone would have to make a decision on which one to take out or not. So that’s a difficult decision."

Some U.S. leaders believe an attack by North Korea is unlikely, but Harris said he doesn’t share their "confidence that North Korea is not going to attack either South Korea, or Japan, or the United States…once they have the capability," Fox News noted.

"I do believe the numbers could be improved," he said about the need for more U.S. interceptors. "In other words, we need more interceptors."

The Hawaii House Public Safety Committee has urged the state’s defense agency to begin prepping the hundreds of fallout shelters that were once used during the Cold War.

Harris’ remarks came before the Trump administration and senators met about North Korea in what’s being called a "rare meeting" at the White House, according to Fox News.

All 100 U.S. senators were present for the closed meeting about the threat posed by North Korea.

"Past efforts have failed to halt North Korea’s unlawful weapons programs and nuclear and ballistic missile tests," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said in a joint statement. "With each provocation, North Korea jeopardizes stability in Northeast Asia and poses a growing threat to our allies and the U.S. homeland."

They also referred to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapon pursuit as "an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority."

"The military is obviously planning for a number of options," Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told Fox News after the Senate briefing. "It is of course the hope that military action does not prove necessary, but if there is a clear and imminent threat to the United States, our military needs to be prepared to act."

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The chief of the U.S. Pacific Command said Wednesday that North Korea is "in a position to threaten Hawaii today," adding that the U.S. should counter that threat by adding more missile interceptors in the isolated state.
north korea, hawaii, threat, missile, interceptors
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2017-24-27
Thursday, 27 Apr 2017 12:24 PM
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