Disclosed first by a congressman at a hearing on Thursday and then confirmed to CNN by the Defense Department, the assessment by the Defense Intelligence Agency is the clearest acknowledgment yet by the United States about potential advances in North Korea’s nuclear program.
The surprise development comes amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea has unleashed a torrent of dramatic threats against the United States and South Korea in recent weeks, including that of a possible nuclear strike.
The Obama administration calculates a test launch of mobile ballistic missiles could come at any time. But a senior administration official said there is no indication that missiles believed being readied for tests have been armed with any nuclear material. Read more from this story HERE.
Lawmaker Catches Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff ‘Off-Guard’, Reveals Probable North Korean Nuclear Capability
By Anna Mulrine. The results of a classified Defense Intelligence Agency report indicate that “North Korea now has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles.”
That was the bombshell out of a House Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday.
It came when Rep. Doug Lamborn (R) of Colorado 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 Gen. Martin Dempsey, the nation’s top military officer, appeared 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, as it could further stoke anxieties over what is already a enormously tense international standoff.
Representative Lamborn read from the report toward the end of a defense budget hearing. Read more from this story HERE.