North Korea has nuclear warhead small enough for ICBMs: report
UPDATE: (August 8, 2017) Donald Trump says North Korea will face ‘fire and fury’ if it escalates nuclear threat.
North Korea has produced a nuclear warhead that’s small enough to fit inside its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), according to multiple reports
North Korea is said to have completed the manufacturing of a nuclear warhead that’s small enough to fit inside its missiles, pushing the secretive state closer to a nuclear power, according to both NBC News and the Washington Post.
Citing new analysis competed last month by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, the Washington Post reported North Korea also has up to 60 nuclear warheads.
“The IC [intelligence community] assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles,” the newspaper quoted the assessment as saying, which was also verified by two U.S. officials.
The reports comes just days after North Korea vowed a harsh response to new UN sanctions imposed on the country over its recent ICBM tests.
“We will make the U.S. pay by a thousand-fold for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country,” the country said through its state media on Sunday.
North Korea said it would never place its nuclear program on the negotiating table as tensions between the U.S. remain high.
READ MORE: UN imposes new sanctions on North Korea
On Saturday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted 15-0 to impose the new sanctions. The U.S.-drafted resolution could effectively slash nearly $1 billion of the country’s export revenue.
“We should not fool ourselves into thinking we have solved the problem. Not even close. The North Korean threat has not left us, it is rapidly growing more dangerous,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council.
“Further action is required. The United States is taking and will continue to take prudent defensive measures to protect ourselves and our allies,” she said. “Washington would continue annual joint military exercises with South Korea,” Haley said.
Japan also said Tuesday that the North Korean regime may have already achieved making nuclear warheads small enough for its ICBM.
Japan released its annual Defence White Paper after North Korea fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month on lofted trajectories to land off Japan’s west coast.
“It is conceivable that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has already considerably advanced and it is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons and has acquired nuclear warheads,” the Defence Ministry said.
“Since last year, when it forcibly implemented two nuclear tests and more than 20 ballistic missile launches, the security threats have entered a new stage,” it added in the 563-page document.
WATCH: Trump told Sen. Graham any war with N. Korea would happen ‘over there’
Experts believe the latest test shows North Korea theoretically has the ability to reach major U.S. cities with its weapons program.
The ICBM test lasted about 45 minutes and the missile reached an altitude of about 3,700 kilometres before splashing down in the Sea of Japan.
The Union of Concerned Scientists reported shortly after Friday’s test, that based on the preliminary numbers of flight time and distance travelled, if the rocket was launched at a “standard trajectory” it would have a reach of just over 10,000 kilometres.
–with a file from Reuters
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