The findings of a secret new report shows that North Korea indeed does have the capability to launch nuclear material with missiles
The results of a classified US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report indicate that “North Korea now has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles."
The revelation came when Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn began quoting from what he said was an unclassified version of the DIA report, which has not yet been made public.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, appeared to have been caught off-guard. The Pentagon has in recent days sought to strike a balance between words of warning to the North and attempts to calm the situation.
General Dempsey's reaction suggested that he was not pleased to have the DIA assessment made public.
Representative Lamborn read from the report toward the end of a defense budget hearing.
“They say, ‘DIA assess with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles. However, the reliability will be low.’ General, would you agree with that assessment by DIA?” he asked.
“I can’t touch that one,” Dempsey answered.
North Korea has recently stationed as many as five medium-range missiles on its east coast, according to defence assessments by Washington and Seoul, possibly in readiness for a test-launch that would demonstrate its ability to hit US bases on Guam.
"There are signs the North could fire off Musudan missiles any time soon," an unnamed intelligence source in Seoul told Yonhap news agency.
UPDATE: The Pentagon has released a statement claiming that North Korea does not have nuclear-armed missiles, playing down an intelligence report leaked earlier in the day which said Pyongyang had the capability to build atomic warheads that could be fitted on missiles.
Pentagon spokesman George Little says it would be inaccurate to suggest the North has fully tested, developed, or demonstrated the nuclear capability mentioned in the report.
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