President Kennedy Says Principal Danger of Missile Attack is from the North

May 17, 1962 - President Kennedy said today that the United States did not have warning systems against intercontinental ballistic missiles to the south of the country — as it has to the north — because the principal danger seemed to be from the north. In answer to a question at his news conference, the President said the warning net was initially developed against manned aircraft, which would have to come from the north. Then it was adapted for missiles. Such missiles, he went on, would still be more likely to make the short northern flight than the long one from the south because the latter route would give the United States more time for retaliation. The time will probably come, he said, when similar defenses are set up in the south.

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