Before an audience at the Atlantic Council in Washington on Wednesday, Admiral Bill Gortney, commander of the U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said North Korea has the capability to launch a nuclear weapon against the U.S.
That North Korea has nuclear capabilities isn’t exactly news, but U.S. officials saying on the record that they have the capability to reach U.S. soil is.
“We assess that they have the capability to reach the homeland with a nuclear weapon from a rocket,” Gortney told an event hosted by the Atlantic Council think tank.
Gortney said it was very difficult to predict the behavior of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but the U.S. military was prepared to respond if he were to use a nuclear weapon.
“We’re ready for him, and we’re ready 24 hours a day if he should be dumb enough to shoot something at us,” Gortney said.
“I’m pretty confident that we’re going to knock down the numbers that are going to be shot.”