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U.S. 'well postured' to deal with possible N.K. SLBM: Pentagon

All Headlines 04:01 December 12, 2017

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (Yonhap) -- The United States is "well postured" to deal with a possible submarine-launched ballistic missile from North Korea, the Pentagon said Monday.

North Korea has completed development of five prototypes for an upgraded SLBM and will likely test it soon, a Japanese newspaper reported last week.

"I can't comment on any matters of specific intelligence regarding North Korea," Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Robert Manning said, "but I will tell you that within the deep arsenal that we have of capabilities, we're well postured to deal with that."

The report came after North Korea launched what it claimed to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking all parts of the U.S.

"We watch them closely," Manning said. "We'll remain vigilant along with our partners from the Republic of Korea and Japan, our alliance partners there, to make sure that we can counter any North Korean threat."

U.S. 'well postured' to deal with possible N.K. SLBM: Pentagon - 1

South Korea, the U.S. and Japan kicked off a trilateral missile tracking exercise the same day in waters near the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

It is a routine operation focused on improving interoperability, Manning said.

"The intent of it is to ensure we maintain those readiness requirements to deal with any North Korean threat," he said, "and making sure, in essence, that we can communicate and employ the necessary capabilities to counter any North Korean threat."

Asked to provide details on last week's visit here by Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, the spokesman described it as part of routine senior leadership meetings at the Pentagon.

The trip sparked considerable media speculation in South Korea as it took place shortly after the North's latest ICBM launch and amid heightened worries about a possible U.S. pre-emptive strike on the regime.

hague@yna.co.kr
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