WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today emphasized the immediate and grave threat posed by North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles at the SASC hearing entitled, Policy and Strategy in the Asia-Pacific.
Inhofe outlined the pace of North Korea’s weapons development over the past several decades. “This country has been incredibly consistent in developing both its [nuclear] weapons and its delivery system,” Inhofe said. “I believe there’s an argument that [North Korea] could pose the greatest threat to the United States.”
“It is the most imminent [threat],” agreed Dr. Aaron L. Friedberg, professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University.
Dr. Victor D. Cha, senior adviser and Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, shared similar concerns. Cha explained that, “the pace of [North Korea’s] development shows that it wants to be able not just to field one missile that could reach the United States, but a whole slew of them.”
In addition to Dr. Victor D. Cha and Dr. Aaron L. Friedberg, witnesses included Ms. Kelly E. Magsamen, former principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and pacific security affairs at the Office of the Secretary of Defense; and Dr. Ashley J. Tellis, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.