The general's comments were likely alluding to a Defense Intelligence Agency assessment that North Korea would be able to field a nuclear-capable ICBM by next year, which is substantially earlier than previously thought. That assessment isn't going over well with some Obama-administration holdovers in the federal government, but even they have had to concede the Hermit Kingdom is advancing further and faster in its efforts to field a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the continental U.S.
Milley, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said U.S. policy "for many, many decades now" was that North Korea would not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons, nor nuclear weapons capable of reaching the U.S. On both accounts, those policy goals have been met with failure.
Trump administration officials warned on Tuesday that another missile test by North Korea was imminent. Following the July 4 test, Pyongyang announced it had perfected a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, and the atmospheric re-entry means to strike specific targets in the U.S. Pentagon officials question whether the latter statement is accurate, but have been forced to concede North Korean missiles now have the range to strike American soil.
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