North Korea’s nuclear warheads may fit on a ballistic missile, according to a US intelligence agency’s report, disclosed on Thursday.
The report was put together by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). An unclassified part of the report was read by Rep. Doug Lamgorn (R-CO) during a House armed services committee hearing.
Lamborn read from the DIA study, saying:
“DIA assesses with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles. However, the reliability will be low.”
While US experts believe that the country doesn’t yet have the ability to arm a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead, the DIA study shows that North Korea may have achieved a significant leap toward its goal. The knowledge would likely be disconcerting to US policymakers.
It is not yet known if other intelligence agencies like the CIA agree with the DIA. Lamborn added that the DIA study on North Korea was completed last month. However, the findings were not made public. The news that North Korea’s nuclear warheads may fit on a ballistic missile is disconcerting.
Late last month the country discontinued its armistice with South Korea. The North also threatened to wipe the United States and South Korea off the map. Since then, the North has moved missiles into launch positions in possible preparation for a test launch.
Tensions ramped up when North Korea completed its third nuclear test earlier this year. The test prompted new sanctions from the United States, South Korea, and the United Nations. Even the country’s allies, China and Russia, condemned the nuclear test.
In response to North Korea’s threats, the Pentagon announced its plans to augment missile defense systems in Alaska. It also intends to deploy another antimissile system to Guam, a US territory in range of North Korea’s missiles.
Jeffrey Lewis, a North Korea expert at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, added of the DIA report, “This is the clearest, most direct statement that North Korea has a miniaturized warhead.”
The news also came earlier on Thursday that North Korea’s missiles were moved to the upright position needed to fire them properly.
Are you worried that North Korea’s nuclear warheads could fit on its missile systems?