US Northern Command is historically focused on nuclear strikes, since there is no nation on the planet with anywhere near as costly a military as America, and subsequently no real threat of an invasion. Admiral Bill Gortney, the commander at Northcom, is embracing that narrative, talking up the possibility of North Korea launching a nuclear first strike on the US mainland.
Gortney said he believes that North Korea has the capability of launching nuclear-tipped missiles against the US homeland, citing a previous assessment that suggested North Korea would reach ICBM capabilities this year.
Yet the ability to fire “something” on an ICBM isn’t the same thing as having the miniaturization technology to make nuclear warheads for those ICBMs. Gortney insisted he believes North Korea can do that too, though when North Korea claimed that capability just a few months ago, US officials dismissed the notion.
The admiral’s comments were mostly centered on hopes to get more funding in the budget, saying he is watching North Korea 24 hours a day “if he should be dumb enough to shoot something at us,” urging Congress to quickly pass a budget so he can keep doing that.
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