Search
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance at the newly built Wisong Scientists Residential District  in this undated photo released by KCNA
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance at the newly built Wisong Scientists Residential District in Pyongyang, in 2014.  KCNA—Reuters

The Pentagon Says That North Korea Is Capable of a Nuclear Strike on the U.S.

Oct 08, 2015

Officials in Washington are of the opinion that North Korea's nuclear arsenal holds missiles that could reach the mainland U.S.A. — but stress that it is a threat that the Pentagon is adequately prepared to face, according to one senior military official quoted by Reuters.

"I'm pretty confident that we're going to knock down the numbers that are going to be shot," Admiral Bill Gortney, who heads the U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said of a potential strike. He spoke at an event hosted by the international affairs think tank Atlantic Council on the matter of "protecting the homeland."

North Korea has long taunted the West with allusions to the country's nuclear means. Every few years, it announces that it has conducted successful nuclear tests, boasts that are interspersed with erratic pledges to end them in return for economic aid or diplomatic concessions. Authorities in Pyongyang say that recent rocket launches are part of a legitimate space program.

Gortney said that the Pentagon is seeking to update its missile defense system despite the impending threat of congressional budget cuts.

"We’re ready for[Kim], and we’re ready 24 hours a day if he should be dumb enough to shoot something at us," Gortney said.

See the Monumental Extravagance of North Korea's Architecture

Portraits of the leaders in a Pyongyang Metro car The Pyongyang Metro opened in 1973 and currently consists of two lines
VIEW GALLERY | 9 PHOTOS
Portraits of the leaders in a Pyongyang Metro car. The Pyongyang Metro opened in 1973 and currently consists of two linesEddo Hartmann—Koryo Studio
Portraits of the leaders in a Pyongyang Metro car The Pyongyang Metro opened in 1973 and currently consists of two lines
Statue of Kim Il Sung at Kaeson station,
Portrait of the Leaders, Jannamsan Hotel, Kaesong, Pyongyang. There are a number of portraits of the North Korean leaders, featuring specific backdrops or content that have been officially approved and are displayed throughout the country. Artists who have been specially trained in reproducing the image of the leaders create all these portraits at Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang
Yanggakdo HotelSituated on Yanggak Island is this 47-storey hotel. Despite the broad marble-clad foyer seen in other North Korean hotels; both the construction methods, and the wider architectural style of this 1995 hotel display a marked departure from the ways of the past, paving the way for the more modern architecture.
Rush hour | Pyongyang MetroThe stations contained within the Pyongyang Metro showcase distinct designs, usually featuring statues, mosaics, and a frequent use of marble; much of this subway system is reminiscent of the Moscow Metro’s opulent station interiors, which were built during the late-Stalin period.
Kim Il Sung SquareConstructed in the mid-1950s, this square lies in the centre of post-war Pyongyang, and was built in the same style as many of those found in the USSR. This area is a key focal point within the DPRK (North Korea), and plays host to all of the country’s most important and often seen military parades and mass rallies.
Sings display the date of Kim Il sung's birthday, which is April 15. That date is now a national holiday in North Korea
The entrance to Kim Il sung stadium. The marble pillars and expansive lobby are typical of the neoclassical style seen throughout Pyongyang
Kumsusan Palace of the SunA loudspeaker sits outside this building which originally functioned as the seat of government under Kim Il Sung (1912-1994), and today acts as his mausoleum, as well as that of his son, Kim Jong Il (1941-2011). These sorts of loudspeaker, which broadcast revolutionary music and messages from the Workers’ Party, are found in almost all public spaces throughout Pyongyang.
Portraits of the leaders in a Pyongyang Metro car. The Pyongyang Metro opened in 1973 and currently consists of two lin
... VIEW MORE

Eddo Hartmann—Koryo Studio
1 of 9
All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.