Washington - A top US military commander said on Tuesday
he favoured shooting down a North Korean missile only if it threatened the
United States or Washington's allies in the region.
When asked by lawmakers if he supported knocking out any
missile fired by North Korea, Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of US Pacific
Command, said: "I would not recommend that."
But the four-star admiral said he would "certainly
recommend" intercepting an incoming North Korean missile "if it was
in defence of our allies" or the US.
Amid widespread speculation North Korea could be
preparing a missile launch, Locklear also said he was confident the US military
would be able to detect quickly where any missile was headed.
"It doesn't take long for us to determine where it's
going and where it's going to land," said Locklear, who oversees American
forces in the Asia-Pacific region.
Japan said on Tuesday it has deployed Patriot missiles in
its capital as a pre-emptive measure.