The second highest-ranking U.S. military official said on Tuesday that despite North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile’s range, Pyongyang does not have the ability to hit the U.S. with “any degree of accuracy,” Reuters reported.
North Korea is believed to possess hundreds of missiles capable of striking South Korea and Japan. Its recent test of an ICBM put it one step closer to its goal of developing nuclear-armed missiles capable of reaching anywhere in the United States.
“What the experts tell me is that the North Koreans have yet to demonstrate the capacity to do the guidance and control that would be required,” Gen. Paul Selva, the vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
South Korea on Monday offered talks with North Korea to ease animosities along their tense border and resume reunions of families separated by their war in the 1950s.
It was unclear how North Korea will react since it remains suspicious of new South Korean President Moon Jae-in's outreach to it. But Moon's overture, the first formal offer of talks since his inauguration in May, indicates he wants to use dialogue to defuse the international standoff over North Korea's weapons programs, despite having condemned the North's first intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 4 and vowed a firm response.
After the ICBM launch, Kim said he would never negotiate over his weapons programs as long as U.S. hostility and nuclear threats persist.
The two Koreas have been divided since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea.
Selva was asked about the U.S.’s next move in the region and said a preemptive military operation is something that should be considered.
The Associated Press contributed to this report