Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is warning that North Korea is nearing a “dangerous line” with their constant statements about the prospect of war breaking out, saying this has “not helped defuse a combustible situation.”
Of course Pentagon officials have been talking up the threat of war just as regularly, with one official speaking to CNN referring to North Korea as the “masters of deception,” and speculating that the missile test launch could be used to cover an attack with other missiles.
Hagel downplayed the risks posed by North Korea, saying that the Pentagon was more than capable of handling any conceivable incident and had planned for every contingency.
Officials say that the US won’t decide whether or not to shoot down a test launch until they have determined if it will hit anything, with experts saying they probably won’t bother if the missile is heading for open sea. Since the US missile defense system is poor, at best, they likely figure it is better not to publicly fail to shoot down the missile.