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North Korea nuclear missiles: How startling is Pentagon assessment? (+video)

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“In today’s House Armed Services Committee on the Department of Defense budget, a member of the committee read an unclassified passage in a classified report on North Korea’s nuclear capabilities. While I cannot speak to all the details of a report that is classified in its entirety, it would be inaccurate to suggest that the North Korean regime has fully tested, developed, or demonstrated the kinds of nuclear capabilities referenced in this passage,” said Pentagon spokesman George Little in a statement issued Thursday night.

Second, it’s also crucial for context to know that many nonproliferation experts outside the government already believe North Korea has the ability to make a nuclear warhead small enough to fit a short- or medium-range ballistic missile. In that sense the DIA is only saying what they believe.

For instance, in a Feb. 13 report on North Korea’s nuclear miniaturization, David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, concluded that Pyongyang probably can make a nuclear device just small enough in diameter to fit on a Nodong, a short-range missile that could reach South Korea.

“Pyongyang still lacks the ability to deploy a warhead on an ICBM, although it shows progress at this effort,” Mr. Albright wrote.

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