Pentagon's No.2 General Says North Korea Building New Missiles "Fast"

The Pentagon's second highest commander while addressing a defense gathering in Washington on Friday accused North Korea of building new missiles "as fast as anybody on the planet". 

Gen. John Hyten, the vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during remarks that North Korea is “building new missiles, new capabilities, new weapons as fast as anybody on the planet.”

The commander of U.S. Strategic Command, Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten. Image source: DoD

The top commander didn't offer any specifics or evidence on the "new missiles" other than the charge comes after talks between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled.

"If you want to go fast in the missile business you need to test fast, fly fast and learn fast. Look at Space X in this country. There were some pretty spectacular failures. Did they stop? No," Gen. Hyten said during his talk at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington.

"That is what North Korea has been doing and North Korea has been building new missiles, new capabilities, new weapons as fast as anybody on the planet with the 115th most powerful economy in the world. Speed itself is efficiency," he added.

Interestingly Hyten has been a key US Air Force supporter of the new US Space Force, and has advocated for making it even more aggressive and robust than is currently planned for in the coming years. 

While again no particular or damning evidence for his claims against Pyongyang were offered, North Korean state media did release an ominous statement at the start of the new year by Kim Jong Un warning there would never be denuclearization on the Korean peninsula so long as the US maintains its hostile and aggressive posture in the region

Upon the end of the "The 5th Plenary Meeting of the 7th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea," Kim had said in a January 2nd released statement: "the DPRK will steadily develop necessary and prerequisite strategic weapons for the security of the state until the US rolls back its hostile policy towards the DPRK and lasting and durable peace-keeping mechanism is built."