In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz, Adm. Timothy Keating, head of the U.S. Pacific Commands, said that the military is prepared to shoot down any North Korean ballistic missile — if President Obama should give the order.
“If a missile leaves the launch pad we’ll be prepared to respond upon direction of the president,” Keating told ABC News. “I’m not a betting man but I’d go like 60/40, 70/30 that it will, they will attempt to launch a satellite. There’s equipment moving up there that would indicate the preliminary stages of preparation for a launch. So I’d say it’s more than less likely.”
“Should it look like it’s not a satellite launch — that it’s something other than a satellite launch — we’ll be ready to respond.”
Intelligence reports suggest that North Korea is preparing a long-range missile test. Earlier this week, North Korea announced its plans to send a satellite into orbit as part of its space program.
However, many in the international community assert that North Korea’s satellite test is simply a means of concealing a long-range missile test — a move that would flare existing tension in the region.