North Korea successfully produces missile-ready nuclear weapons, say US analysts

Washington: North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturised nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The conclusion was made in a confidential assessment completed in July by the Defence Intelligence Agency, the newspaper said, citing anonymous United States intelligence officials.

File image of Kim Jong-Un. AFP

File image of Kim Jong-Un. AFP

"The IC (intelligence community) assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile)-class missiles," the assessment states, in an excerpt read to The Washington Post.

The assessment's broad conclusions were verified by two United States officials familiar with the document, said The Post, adding that the development signals that North Korea has crossed "a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power".

The Japanese Defence Ministry has also warned that the threat posed by Pyongyang nuclear weapons programme has entered "a new stage".

"It is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturisation of nuclear weapons and has acquired nuclear warheads," the ministry said in a report released on Tuesday, according to NBC news.

On Saturday, United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a United States-drafted resolution that aims to slash by a third the North Korea's $3 billion annual export revenue over Pyongyang's two ICBM tests in July.

The resolution would ban Pyongyang's exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. It would also prohibit countries from increasing the current numbers of North Korea's laborers working abroad, ban new joint ventures with Pyongyang and any new investment in current joint ventures.

Updated Date: Aug 09, 2017 09:21 AM

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