Gates: North Korea will have ICBMs in five years

Pyongyang, Mr. Gates said, is continuing to make progress on its nuclear program and its missiles, including the long-range rockets that could eventually be used to strike at the U.S. Mr. Gates said he did not believe that North Korea would have huge numbers of missiles in five years, but they would have a limited capability to strike the U.S. in that time frame.

“I don’t think it is an immediate threat; no, on the other hand I do think it is a five-year threat,” Mr. Gates told reporters Tuesday.

Citing the threat to the U.S., Mr. Gates appealed to Chinese President Hu Jintao for China’s continuing help with damping tensions on the Korean peninsula. Mr. Gates said the two men had discussed “concrete measures” Pyongyang could take to demonstrate they are serious about resuming negotiations.