U.S. Strategic Command’s Hyten: ‘We have to assume’ North Korea has nuclear weapons – Forward Observer Shop

U.S. Strategic Command’s Hyten: ‘We have to assume’ North Korea has nuclear weapons

General John E. Hyten, Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, had this to say recently regarding North Korea’s nuclear capability:

The one thing they have not demonstrated to the United States is the ability to put everything together end to end and use it. And I’ll just say that when we, the United States, built that capability, that endgame was the hardest part for us. And that’s why we built a couple of big test ranges – the Eastern Test Range and the Western Test Range. That’s why we built Kwajalein Atoll. That’s why we put the huge radars out there in order to characterize those things. And I can tell you that the North Koreans did not have that kind of infrastructure, so they have not demonstrated us the whole thing end to end. But the point that you have to remember is, it’s not – if you’re going down that path, you’ll eventually figure it out. You will, whether you figure it out by luck, by happenstance or by just sheer trial and error of doing things over and over, and fail, and fail and fail until you succeed. You’ll eventually have figured it out. So we have to assume. And as the commander of strategic command, I have to assume that they have the bomb, that they will have the capability to deploy it on an ICBM.

Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 3: What are the latest indicators of a U.S.-North Korea war?  Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region.  Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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