US can knock down a North Korean missile

March 20th, 2009 - 5:52 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 20 (ANI): An American military commander for the Pacific region has said that there is a high probability that the US could knock down a North Korean missile aimed at the United States.

Navy Admiral Timothy J. Keating told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he does not regard a missile test planned by the North Koreans in April as a threat.

It is a normal notification process, which they didnt do in 2006, when they attempted a launch from the same facility, the New York Times quoted Keating, as saying.

Admiral Keating added that US intelligence cannot yet say whether the launch will be of a communications satellite, as North Korea has asserted, or of a missile with intercontinental range.

But he and two other commanders said they think it will be a satellite launch because of the public announcements from Pyongyang, including coordinates of the ocean area where the booster rocket is likely to fall.

Air Force General Kevin P. Chilton, the head of Strategic Command, told the Senate panel even if there is a satellite launch . . . it will help advance North Koreas technology of long-range missiles.

Army General Walter L. Sharp, commander of US forces in Korea, added that North Koreas missile ability is indeed a threat.

Sharp added that the launch would violate a 2006 UN Security Council resolution barring such tests by North Korea after one exploded shortly after being fired, and he called on North Korea to call off the launch. (ANI)

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