Guam – As tensions continue to escalate on the Korean peninsula, President Barack Obama today issued his first public statement on North Korea’s hostility aimed at the U.S., warning Pyongyang to end what he calls their belligerent approach. His statements were made on the heels of a Defense Intelligence report suggesting that the secretive North may have the ability to deliver a nuclear payload through a ballistic missile to U.S. soil. Colorado Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn touched off a storm of controversy when he announced that a Defense Intelligence Agency report suggests the agency has “moderate confidence” that North Korea has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles. Lamborn dropped the bombshell during a House Armed Services Committee meeting Thursday in Washington, which caught Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey by surprise.
“They concluded–and this is public, this is unclassified so I can make it public–DIA assesses with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles. However the reliability will be low,” revealed Lamborn.
Dempsey declined to comment, saying he had yet to see the report.
The startling revelation triggered a response from the Pentagon soon after, downplaying Lamborn’s remarks, saying it was unclassified information contained in a classified report.
Press Secretary George Little said, “It would be inaccurate to suggest that the North Korean regime has fully tested, developed, or demonstrated the kinds of nuclear capabilities referenced in the passage. The United States continues to closely monitor the North Korean nuclear program and calls upon North Korea to honor its international obligations.”
And for the first time since North Korea’s dramatic warmongering in recent weeks, President Barack Obama warned Pyongyang to end its aggression against the U.S.
“Now is the time for North Korea to end the kind of belligerent approach that they’ve been taking and to try to lower temperatures. Nobody wants to see a conflict on the Korean peninsula and we will continue to try to work to resolve some of those issues diplomatically even as I indicated to the secretary general and the United States will take all necessary steps to protect its people and to meet our obligations under our alliances in the region,” Obama stated.
Until now, it was thought that North Korea had not developed the technology to place a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile. Yesterday, CNN reported that the North raised at least one missile, the Musudan, into firing position. However, it was unclear why the regime did not fire. The musudan is believed to have the range to be able to reach Guam.
Meanwhile, on Guam, Governor Eddie Calvo and officials with the Homeland Security were engaged in intense discussions all morning behind closed doors on the new intel in the Defense Intelligence report. Homeland Security and Civil Defense Acting spokesperson Dee Cruz tells PNC that the threat level on Guam has not changed, however. Guam remains in code Yellow she said.
Yesterday, the Joint Information Center released a statement under Governor Calvo’s directive that Guam would be operating under color coded threat levels. Green means all is well, Yellow means to be careful, continue with your daily lives while staying prepared for a potential emergency and red means to stop what you’re doing and prepare yourself immediately for an impending emergency.
Again, Guam remains in Code yellow. For more information on how to stay prepared or for any other concerns, you can call Guam Homeland Security at 475-9600 or visit their website at ghs.guam.gov.