Tag Archives: war

North Korean rocket could reach Hawaii: US admiral

America’s top military officer said on Friday that a rocket North Korea plans to launch next month has a range that could possibly reach Hawaii.Asked if the North Korean rocket could reach the US states of Hawaii or Alaska, Admiral Mike Mullen told CNN: “In some cases, yes, they could probably get down to Hawaii.”

International concern has been mounting about North Korea’s announcement it would launch a communications satellite between April 4 and 8.

The United States, Japan and other allies believe Pyongyang is using the launch to test a ballistic missile that could, in theory, cross the Pacific to reach North America.

The launch, combined with North Korea’s atomic weapons, were cause for serious concern, the admiral said.

Mullen added the regime’s missiles did not yet have a range that could strike the western coast of the US mainland.

Arms experts say North Korea has yet to demonstrate it has the ability to construct and fit a nuclear warhead onto a missile.

The launch, even if it is for a satellite as announced by North Korea, would help the regime in developing a long-range missile threat, said Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“What concerns me is the guidance, the engineering, the engines, those are all identical to the kinds of capabilities you’d put on a ballistic missile,” he said.

Japan gave its military the green light on Friday to shoot down any incoming North Korean rocket. And Japanese and US warships have already deployed ahead of the April 4-8 window.

North Korea has said shooting down its rocket would be treated as act of war.

The last time North Korea launched a long-range Taepo-dong 2, on July 4, 2006, the missile failed seconds after launch.

Mullen declined to comment on any possible US military response to a rocket launch.

Other US commanders have said they have confidence the US military had the ability to shoot down any missile threatening the United States using sea-based or land-based missile defense weaponry.

Leave a comment

Filed under News and Current events

Terror inmates may be released in US: intel chief

President Barack Obama’s intelligence chief confirmed Thursday that some Guantanamo inmates may be released on US soil and receive assistance to return to society.
“If we are to release them in the United States, we need some sort of assistance for them to start a new life,” said National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair at his first press conference.

“You can’t just put them on the street,” he added. “All that is work in progress.”

Obama has vowed to close the controversial prison camp by next January and has ordered individual reviews for cases against each of the over 240 remaining prisoners.

Blair told reporters that the review of Guantanamo cases was still underway, and that the government was “building dossiers on each of the detainees.”

The Obama administration is currently evaluating what could be done with the prisoners, he said, but pledged that if they are sent to another country, “we have to be sure that that country will treat them in a humane fashion.”

Twenty men detained at the remote US naval base at Guantanamo Bay in southern Cuba have been cleared of terrorism charges, including 17 Chinese Uighurs ordered released by a US court in June, seven years after their arrest. But the US says they may face persecution if returned to China.

In an executive order signed days after he took office in January, Obama also promised to uphold the Geneva Conventions for the remaining prisoners until the detention center is closed.

Blair touched on the controversial interrogation techniques used on terror suspects under the administration of president George W. Bush, saying that those methods — including waterboarding, or simulated drowning — would not be used under his tenure.

But Blair, a retired US admiral, added that his team was examining other “enhanced interrogation techniques” for high-value detainees that comply with international conventions on prisoners of war.

He did not elaborate on what methods would be used, but said such interrogations should be carried out by “government employees; they shouldn’t be contractors; they should be highly trained, very supervised.”

Leave a comment

Filed under News and Current events, obama