"North Korea, Iran can't attack United States"
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has said that neither Iran nor North Korea have the capabilities to attack the U.S. with nuclear missiles.
Chuck Hagel (Beta/AP)
Hagel was responding to a question during a meeting of a U.S. House of Representatives committee, when said he did not believe that North Korea and Iran have long-range missiles carrying weapons of mass destruction that could reach the United States.
He, however, did not rule out the possibility that these countries could in the future have such weapons.
North Korea has admitted to working on producing missiles with nuclear warheads, and threatened to use them. A U.S. missile defense system has been deployed in the Pacific, in case of a possible North Korean attack in the coming days.
South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan Jin last week told lawmakers in South Korea's parliament that Pyongyang had moved its medium-range missiles to its eastern coast.
It is assumed that these are the "Musudan" missiles, which have the range between 3,000 and 4,000 kilometers.
There are also fears that they could be fired before April 15 - when North Korea marks the birthday of the country's founder, Kim Il Sung.