> North Korea's pursuit of long range ballistic missile capabilities is giving European capitals pause for thought. They're protected by NATO's US built missile defense shield, but may still prove an easier target for Pyongyang than North America. Reuters Robin Emmitt reports from Brussels, the headquarters of the alliance.
>> So experts and diplomats say that the system that was installed last May in Romania and in the Mediterranean simply is not prepared to shoot down a North Korean missile. It's the interceptor rockets have a smaller range, they can't hit at ballistic missiles in outer space at such high altitude and that gives the so called Aegis Shore System very little time to react.
>> It's taken over a decade for the Aegis system to be deployed around Europe. The US government says the interceptors have an 83% success rate. Patriot missiles like these are also expected to be given to Poland in the near future. Partly at issue is sensitivity towards Moscow which has long claimed the NATO interceptors are there to counter Russia's nuclear stockpile.
>> Given the Russian sensibilities, NATO and the US administration had always said this European shield was against Iran and other rogue states. Now rogue states was always taken to mean North Korea. But curiously enough, it's only now that diplomats and NATO, the HQ in Brussels are starting to actually look at potentially developing the missile shield to shoot down North Korean rockets.
To many people that's a surprise because of this earlier justification. It's a realization that actually the cost of physics and the software needed is actually a great deal different when it comes to dealing with the North Korean threat.>> To deter North Korea, the sources say they'll need more batteries and early warning systems and soon.
The hermit kingdom could be able to strike London, Paris or Berlin by next year.