A top US military commander says he is concerned about China’s ballistic missile submarines capable of attacking the United States with nuclear weapons.
Commander of the US Northern Command Admiral William Gortney said on Tuesday that any time a country has nuclear weapons and delivery systems that can reach the US homeland, “it’s a concern of mine,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The US said that the Chinese submarines are deployed in the South China Sea at a base on Hainan Island.
“They have put to sea their sea-launched ballistic missile submarines. I believe they have three in the water right now,” Gortney said.
“Their very long-range capability is a function of how far do they reach,” he added. “So even from their own waters, they can reach part of our homeland. Hawaii is part of our homeland and they can reach Hawaii. And then the farther east they go, they can reach more and more of our nation.”
The admiral also suggested Chinese submarines could conduct underwater operations near US shores.
“We haven’t seen those patrols just yet, but it doesn’t mean that those patrols can’t exist in the future,” he said.
Admiral Gortney claimed that North Korea is now capable of launching a nuclear-armed missile at the United States.
“Our assessment is that they have the ability to put a nuclear weapon on a KN-08 and shoot it at the homeland,” he said. "We assess that it’s operational today, and so we practice to go against it.”
American officials have repeatedly warned of threats by other countries against their homeland.
This is while a report by the US Commerce Department in February showed the US military spending for the third-quarter of this year increased by 16 percent.