China, North Korea and Iran will all soon have nuclear missiles capable of reaching the U.S., according to a report published by the Pentagon Thursday.
Beijing’s new submarine-launched ballistic missile, the JL-2, will allow Chinese submarines for the first time to strike parts of the U.S. from China’s coastal waters, states the 2013 Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat Assessment, produced by the Department of Defense's National Air and Space Intelligence Center, the Washington times reported.
The Pentagon report also specifies that Chinese ICBM nuclear warheads, which are capable of reaching the United States, “could expand to well over 100 within the next 15 years.”
Also according to the report, Iran will be ready to test an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with the capability to strike the U.S. by 2015.
Following reports of the U.S. Defense Department's failed missile-interception test last week, American politicians are calling on the government to take the assessments seriously, and are advocating continued development and improvement of the defense system. Critics claim it is too expensive and not effective enough.
According to the Washington Times, the report also confirms the revelation that North Korea last year deployed a new, road-mobile or ICBM — known as the Hwasong-13. The authors of the report note that the missile has not been flight-tested, and say the number of its stages, its fuel and its range are unknown.
“North Korea has an ambitious ballistic missile development program and has exported missiles and missile technology to other countries, including Iran and Pakistan,” says the assessment, which was released this week.
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