Saturday, April 30, 2005

Hawaii In Range Of North Korean Nuke

A Bush administration official disclosed yesterday that North Korea now has the ability to arm an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead.

Vice Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, also told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that a North Korean two-stage missile armed with a nuclear warhead had enough range to hit Hawaii, Alaska and parts of the Northwest. But he did not say whether North Korea had successfully tested its long-range missile capabilities. Jacoby said he thought it was unlikely that North Korea would ever agree to end its nuclear weapons program in "six-party" diplomatic negotiations with the United States, South Korea, Japan, China and Russia. "Our assessment is that the nuclear capability and ambiguities that they have pursued for so many years was a major bargaining chip leverage," Jacoby said. North Korea first tested its Taepo-Dong 2, a two-stage ICBM in 1998 and more recently conducted tests of missile engines. The communist country is believed to have built a few nuclear warheads.