U.S. Air Force Gen. John Hyten, who has been tapped as the next commander of the Strategic Command, says that North Korea will eventually develop an intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM) capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
Hyten delivered the claim at a Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, expressing concerns about nuclear and missile threats posed by the North.
He said he is very worried about North Korea's testing Tuesday morning of a new, more powerful rocket, noting that the claimed 80-ton force thrust of the engine indicates huge progress toward its ability to hit the continental U.S.
Hyten added that he will place top priority on North Korea's nuclear and missile development if he becomes the leader of the Strategic Command.
Asked if he thinks that North Korea will succeed in developing a nuclear ICBM within two or three years, the general said that although he was not going to present a detailed time frame, the North will eventually possess the weapon.