While the Pentagon asserts that the U.S. military could defend the United States against an attack by North Korea, not all military experts are as confident. Pyongyang's first test on July 4th of an intercontinental ballistic missile with the potential to strike Alaska, has raised the question, how capable is the U.S. of knocking down incoming missiles?
Reuters' Mike Stone has been talking with military experts.>> There's been some criticism of the ground base mid-course defense. Those are the batteries of intercept, of missile interceptors that are in California and Alaska. So critics have said that it's under tested, and that really has to do with the viability of half a billion dollars per launch some experts have said.
>> Despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent on a multi layered missile defense system, military experts tell Reuters the U.S. is not able to totally protect itself from a North Korean ICBM attack. Some of the test have missed their mark, and one missile defense analyst saying that even if the system were testing at 100% accuracy, there are no guarantees.
But while each system has its vulnerabilities, the U.S. defense system should be taken as a whole.>> In any realistic wartime situation, multiple interceptors would be launched from the US' Pacific seaboard in the hopes of being redundant.>> Vice Admiral James Syring, then Director of the Missile Defense Agency, told a congressional panel in June that North Korean advancements in the last six months had caused him great concern, while others added the pace of North Korea's missile development was quicker than expected.
However, North Korea still needs to make several leaps in it's technology before it's an imminent threat to the U.S.