WASHINGTON - North Korea does not have the ability to strike the United States with "any degree of accuracy" and while its missiles have the range, they lack the necessary guidance capability, Vice Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Paul Selva said on Tuesday.
"I ... am not sanguine that the test on the Fourth of July demonstrates that they have the capacity to strike the United States with any degree of accuracy or reasonable confidence or success," Selva said while appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Earlier this month North Korea said it had conducted its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), and that it had mastered the technology to mount a nuclear warhead on the missile.
Pyongyang's state media said the test successfully verified the atmospheric re-entry of the warhead, which experts say may be able to reach the U.S. state of Alaska.
"What the experts tell me is that the North Koreans have yet to demonstrate the capacity to do the guidance and control that would be required," Selva, the second highest-ranking U.S. military official, added.
South Korea's intelligence agency also does not believe North Korea has secured re-entry capabilities for its ICBM program.
South Korea on Monday proposed military talks with North Korea, the first formal overture to Pyongyang by the government of President Moon Jae-in, to discuss ways to avoid hostile acts near the heavily militarized border.