WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States is prepared to intercept any North Korean long-range missile as Pyongyang further tested international patience with fresh launches, a top US military commander said Thursday. The nation has a very, very credible ballistic-missile defence capability, General Victor Gene Renuart, the top US commander in North America, told The Washington Times. Our ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California, Im very comfortable, give me a capability that if we really are threatened by a long-range ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) that Ive got high confidence that I could interdict that flight before it caused huge damage to any US territory. Washington has said it was not excluding the possibility of a North Korean missile launch toward Hawaii on or around July 4, the US Independence Day, but the Pentagon has since expressed doubts about the scenario. But Renuart, commander of US NORTHCOM and the missile launch-monitoring US-Canada North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), warned that we ought to assume there might be one on the first of July and continue to be prepared and ready. I think we are certainly ready and capable of responding, Renuart said. Thursdays North Korean missile launches came as a US delegation met Chinese officials in Beijing for talks on giving more teeth to UN sanctions imposed in June after the Stalinist state carried out an underground nuclear test on May 25, its second nuclear test since 2006.