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Bridget Johnson


April 11, 2013 - 6:36 pm

The Pentagon rushed to tamp down alarm after a lawmaker read a section of a Defense Intelligence Agency report at a House Armed Services Committee meeting indicating North Korea had nuclear missiles.

“They say, ‘DIA assess with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles. However, the reliability will be low.’ General, would you agree with that assessment by DIA?” Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) asked Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey at today’s hearing.

“I can’t touch that one,” Dempsey responded, noting the report had not yet been released even though “some of it’s classified, some of it’s unclassified.”

“You said it’s not publicly released, so I choose not to comment on it,” Dempsey said when pressed to answer whether he agreed with the assessment.

“In today’s House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Department of Defense budget, a member of the committee read an unclassified passage in a classified report on North Korea’s nuclear capabilities,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement this evening.

“While I cannot speak to all the details of a report that is classified in its entirety, 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,” he continued. “The United States continues to closely monitor the North Korean nuclear program and calls upon North Korea to honor its international obligations.”

Dempsey was asked at a Pentagon briefing with reporters yesterday if North Korea had been able to “mate a nuclear warhead to a ballistic missile that could reach Japan” or farther.

“Well, the proximity of the North Koreans to achieving a miniaturization of a nuclear device on a ballistic missile is really a matter of — is a classified matter. But they have conducted two nuclear tests,” Dempsey responded. “They have conducted several successful ballistic missile launches. And in the absence of concrete evidence to the contrary, we have to assume the worst case, and that’s — that’s why we’re postured as we are today.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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"Taken out of context" = "You quoted what we actually said but that we were hoping to slide by with. If they launch a nuke at us, we will point to the buried quote as proof that we warned you, but the political leadership is really, really hoping that they don't; and they don't want you thinking about the US response to KJU or lack thereof."

The Congressman who brought it up was Doug Lamborn. He's my Congressman, and one of the few members of the Republican caucus who is an Oathkeeper. He is not flamboyant, but he is honest, serious, and doesn't have an ounce of quit in him. Taken together, that is why the Republican party does not like him. But we do.

We have not heard the last of this.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
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