vows to strengthen nuclear arsenal


A top general warned of need to strengthen “deterrence” after dozens of missile tests by North Korea

The U.S. government will work to improve its nuclear capabilities, said a senior military commander, who pledged to strengthen the U.S. arsenal on land, air and sea in response to “villain” actions by North Korea.

Air Force General Anthony Cotton spoke before the Senate Armed Forces Committee on Thursday about the need to bolster the country’s nuclear arsenal to meet “challenges” from Pyongyang and other rival states, among others.

“North Korea conducted an unprecedented number of missile launches in 2022 and its new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), dubbed KN-28, highlights that the security challenge continues to grow,” he said. “To ensure we can continue to serve as the foundation of integrated deterrence, we are recapitalizing every part of the nuclear triad and nuclear command control and communications systems.”

The “triad” refers to the three main delivery methods for US nuclear weapons, including land-based missile silos, long-range strategic bombers, and nuclear-armed submarines.

Cotton then accused North Korea of ​​acting as one “villain” nation that “poses a threat to the United States and our allies”, stressing that Washington must continue to improve its policies “effective and credible nuclear deterrence.”

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have soared over the past year, with the DPRK conducting a record number of weapons tests amid a spate of joint US-South Korean war games. Military activity continued into 2023, with Pyongyang firing missiles while Washington and Seoul continued multiple rounds of exercises, including a recent exercise involving a nuclear-powered US bomber.

North Korea has repeatedly condemned such exercises as rehearsals for an invasion and insists it has every right to conduct missile launches and launch its own “deterrent” forces. However, US officials continue to pressure Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arsenal, with State Department spokesman Ned Price promising on Thursday increased “cost” on the DPRK until it “changes his approach” and leave his weapons behind. Although Price asked for it “dialogue and diplomacy” With North Korea, President Joe Biden appears to have made no effort so far to sit down with the country’s leaders or hold another round of talks to de-escalate tensions.

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