North Korea and Iran are cooperating in developing long-range missiles, the deputy director of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency said yesterday.
Army Brig. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly said during a speech that North Korea test fired a long-range Taepodong missile in July, and Iran is working on a space launcher that would help develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could hit the U.S.
“Not only North Korea, but Iran has shown some significant developments in their [own] missile systems,” Gen. O’Reilly said in a speech to the George C. Marshall Institute.
“They are working in concert with the North Koreans,” he said. “They have made a claim that they are working towards developing a space launch capability, which also would give them an ICBM capability.” [link]
I still can’t believe these two would ever cooperate against us. I mean, the North Koreans are Sunnis, right? Thankfully, an American missile defense system is progressing quickly despite withering attacks from its critics. Those critics seem especially short-sighted now:
The United States is working on providing complete protection from North Korean missiles by the end of this year as it wraps up the second increment phase of its ballistic missile defense (BMD) system, a senior U.S. military official said Monday.
Brigadier General Patrick O’Reilly, deputy director of the Missile Defense Agency, said even a failed missile space launch by North Korea could threaten the U.S.
“One country which we are very interested in is North Korea,” he said at the National Press Club in a speech sponsored by the George C. Marshall Institute.
“As you can see, they (North Korea) both have success and failures,” he said, “but if they had a failure in these attempts, a failed space launch could likely return back to U.S. soil.”
“Therefore, our system looks at that, and it’s been developed to counter that.”
The BMD strategy had been to put an initial capability in the field between 2004 and 2005 to protect U.S. soil from North Korea and the Middle East, O’Reilly said. “And we did.”
“The next increment, the one we are working on today, provides complete protection of the U.S. from both North Korean and Middle East threats,” he said. His chart showed this phase was to be completed between 2006 and 2007.
The Army one-star general linked the North Korean missile program with that of Iran, saying the two countries “are working in concert.”
“Rogue states view ballistic missiles as a means for gaining or maintaining their own freedom of action and raising avenue,” his presentation chart said.
“North Korea uses missiles for coercion, intimidation and deterrence, and proliferates to other nations.”