North Korea may soon begin flight testing a new and improved missile design, according to the head of the U.S. military's Northern Command on Tuesday.
Air Force General Glen VanHerck's warning appeared to be based on North Korea having unveiled an intercontinental ballistic missile in October, which would be its largest yet.
On Tuesday VanHerck warned Pyongyang's latest missile design could strike the U.S. "homeland," but expressed confidence in U.S. defenses.
"We always maintain our ability to defend our homeland. And the right to defend our homeland, we are postured each and every day through ground based interceptors, which create deterrence by denial."
The remarks point to worries Pyongyang may resume testing missiles and nuclear weapons after a more than three-year hiatus.
Even during the testing lull, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for continued production of nuclear weapons and launched a series of smaller missiles.
Van Herck noted that Kim lifted a self-imposed ban on testing over a year ago.
He spoke hours before U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's met with leaders in South Korea on Wednesday.
Earlier in the week, the White House confirmed a Reuters report that it had tried to reach out to North Korea but received no response.
Shortly after, North Korean state news reported that Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jung criticized the Biden administration's ongoing military drills in South Korea, warning them to avoid quote "causing a stink."