North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile is a “game changer” and heightens the risk that nation will be able to hit the United States sooner than expected, Army Gen. Vincent Brooks, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea said.
Brooks’ remarks came in a story by Washington Free Beacon Senior Editor Bill Gertz.
“It is a bit of a game changer for us,” Brooks said in an interview.
The missile, launched July 4 by the North Koreans traveled over 1,700 miles and flew for 37-minutes — longer than any previous North Korean test.
Referring to reports the missile test moved up estimates of the timeline for fielding a reliable long-range nuclear missile, Brooks, said: “We believe they have.”
“The North Korean program is accelerating in time,” Brooks said in an earlier speech, according to the Free Beacon. “Nearly weekly tests becoming the new normal. In the past year alone Kim Jong Un has tested 28 missiles, more than his father and his grandfather during their entire reign combined.
“Kim Jong Un is seeking the development of a credible, nuclear capability to deter what North Korea perceives to be hostility against it,” he said.
And Brooks maintained the United States and the rest of the world must continue to try to deter North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
“With North Korea, we are not seeking to bring them to their knees; we’re seeking to bring them to their senses,” Brooks said.
Meanwhile, North Korea is expected to soon test another ICBM, ABC News reported.
“The Intelligence Community is closely monitoring the expanding threat from North Korea,” said Scott Bray, national intelligence manager for East Asia at the Office for the Director of National Intelligence.”