Former Navy official: US must take North Korea seriously

Former Navy official: US must take North Korea seriously
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A former senior Navy official warned Sunday that the U.S. should not take North Korea's military capabilities lightly.

"When you look at North Korea, there are no real strategic challenges to the United States. But they are a capable force and we do need to take them seriously," William Parker, a former chief of staff for U.S. Naval Forces, said in an interview with John Catsimatidis that aired Sunday on New York's AM 970.

"The [North Koreans] currently do not have intercontinental ballistic missile capability, but they are getting there ... They still have a very significant military," he maintained.


Parker explained that while he doubted some of the claims that the North Koreans have made about their military capabilities, they do have technologies that directly threaten U.S. allies in the region.

"They have advertised that they have submarine launch ballistic missile capability -- I do not believe they are there yet," he said.
"They also have a missile capability that they are building and it is a significant growth," he said, noting that the North Koreans have multiple missile systems, some of which with ranges that extend all the way to the outskirts of Alaska. 
"What is more important is that they are now shifting from liquid fuel to solid fuel. Once they are able to shift to solid fuel, it means their ranges are going to extend significantly. But in addition to that, they have to be able to miniaturize their weapons," he added.

Parker lauded President Trump's recent negotiations with China, arguing that although the likelihood for conflict "is there," interacting with Beijing "has been a very positive thing."
"We are heading in the direction to say all of [the military] options are on the table, and standby if you do not respond the way we expect you to," he said. 
"I think his interaction with the Chinese has been a very positive thing," Parker maintained. "China I think would be one [nation] that would be willing to -- and looks like they are, actually -- in the process of coming together with the United States a little bit and working toward this issue together."