The four-star combatant commander of NORTHCOM, Gen. Lori Robinson, said she is “confident” the U.S. can be defended from any potential North Korean missile attacks, but that the Pentagon should never slow its pace of technological development.
“I am entirely confident in our ability to defend the United States, but that doesn’t mean we stop here,” she said.
Northcom and NORAD are focused on North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and his efforts to develop nuclear-armed missiles, she said at the Women in Defense’s National Conference in Washington, D.C. Women in Defense is an affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association.
“The amount … that he’s increased in his capability and capacity has been amazing,” she said. “If we see that he’s tested over 30 percent more than his father and grandfather combined, and if we look at the speed … that he does the testing, and [that] he’s not afraid to fail in public, we should worry and I know we are.”
To beef up its missile defenses, the United States must continue to develop more discriminating sensors, ensure the reliability of kill vehicles and secure its ground-based interceptor arsenal, she said.
The Pentagon is currently conducting a comprehensive missile defense review, even as the Defense Department is seeking more funding for missile defense development and deployment of interceptors.