US GENERAL: We can knock out a North Korean missile before it reaches the US

ICBM LGM-30G Minuteman III

Senior Airman Kyla Gifford/US Air Force

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Air Force general says she is extremely confident the United States could intercept a ballistic missile fired by North Korea.

During congressional testimony Thursday, Gen. Lori Robinson said North Korea "can't reach our homeland" right now. Robinson told the Senate Armed Services Committee, "I'm confident, should he do that."

She was referring to North Korea's young leader, Kim Jong Un.

Robinson is the top officer at U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado.

North Korea is pushing hard to upgrade its weapons systems to cope with what it calls U.S. hostility.

Many weapons experts say the North could have a functioning nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the continental U.S. within a few years. North Korea carried out two nuclear tests last year.

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