A US intelligence report concludes North Korea has enough knowledge to arm a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead.
This new assessment by the Pentagon’s Defence Intelligence Agency comes as South Korea continues to anticipate test firing by Pyongyang. Seoul is expecting a missile test before next Monday, the birthday of North Korea’s founder Kim Il-sung.
However, technology may not be advanced enough to pose a real threat, according to South Korea’s Defence Ministry.
“Our military’s assessment is that North Korea has not yet miniaturised (nuclear warheads for missiles). We think they are at a stage of miniaturising. North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests but there is doubt whether it is at the stage where they can reduce the weight and miniaturise to mount on a missile,” said South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is in Seoul meeting with South Korea Defence Minister Kim Kwan-jin to discuss the escalating tension with the North.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has begun his first official Asia Pacific trip in South Korea, a visit that could provoke the North even more. Kerry will also visit Japan and China.
Washington is urging Beijing to use all its influence to rein its regional allies during talks with Pyongyang.