WASHINGTON, D.C. — North Korea has developed an arsenal of up to 60 nuclear weapons capable of reaching the U.S., say latest intelligence reports.
The rogue state has lashed out at the United States over the last week in response to tough new sanctions imposed by the United Nations over it’s refusal to disarm it’s forbidden nuclear program.
A July assessment by the Defense Intelligence Agency found North Korean military leaders have already developed a compact nuclear warhead that can be placed inside one of its advanced missiles, which intelligence officials say are capable of reaching approximately half of the United States.
“The [intelligence community] assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles,” an excerpt of the DIA analysis reads.
The DIA assessment coincides with a report published on Tuesday by the Japan defense ministry which documents similar findings.
“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 into warheads and has acquired nuclear warheads,” the Japanese white paper reports (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/08/north-korea-nuclear-miniaturised-warhead-advanced-considerably-japan).
The threat of impending war between North Korea and the U.S. have led to mandatory emergency disaster drills being carried out by the Japanese government due to the geographical proximity of North Korea to Japan’s north west (http://kotaku.com/japan-preparing-for-north-korean-missile-strikes-with-d-1797626196).
Last week, US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said Washington would not seek UN Security Council action following North Korea’s latest missile test, because “the time for talk is over”.
On Saturday the UN Security Council voted unanimously to approve new sanctions against North Korea that included a ban on coal and other exports worth more than $1bn. North Korea responded by blaming the Trump administration for the sanctions and claimed the U.S. teetered “on the knife’s edge of life and death”.
“We are ready to retaliate with far bigger actions to make the US pay a price
for its crime against our country and people,” said the official Korean Central News Agency, adding it would send “packs of wolves” to “strangle” any nation who opposes North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Reactions to Tuesday’s disturbing developments were swift, with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton tweeting, “We’ve been playing the diplomatic game for a long time with #NorthKorea and it’s only given them time to advance their weapons program. North Korea’s rhetoric is always over-the-top, but we need to continue to prepare against possible provocative or hostile action.”
President Trump also took to Twitter to address the American people on the ever growing danger over North Korea, tweeting,”After many years of failure,countries are coming together to finally address the dangers posed by North Korea. We must be tough & decisive!”
In an interview broadcast Saturday on MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt Show, national security adviser H.R. McMaster said the concept of a North Korea armed with nuclear-tipped intercontinental weapons would be “intolerable, from the president’s perspective.”
“We have to provide all options . . . and that includes a military option,” he said.