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10 August 2017, 01:26 | Rufus Hill
Trump says nations 'must be tough' on North Korea
As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports on All Things Considered, the technology hurdle for Pyongyang is to produce a relatively small, lightweight weapon that North Korean missiles are capable of getting to a target.
The threat came after Trump issued an apocalyptic warning, saying North Korea faces "fire and fury" over its missile program, after USA media reported Pyongyang has successfully miniaturised a nuclear warhead. "As I said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before".
On Tuesday, North Korea said it would take "physical action" in reaction to new United Nations sanctions.
It is not believed that the capability has been tested, according to the sources.
USA officials have repeatedly said this year that military action against the North was an "option on the table".
The Pentagon did not comment on the story, but the Post said two United States officials familiar with the analysis had verified the assessment's broad conclusions, and CNN said it had confirmed the report.
"Well, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say if North Korea was planning some kind of pre-emptive or surprise attack on Guam, we would not be reading about it in North Korean media", Delury said in an interview at his office.
"This official said the 'assessment" is continuing to be refined and updated as more intelligence is collected.
The progress suggests North Korea is further along the path to having a deployable nuclear missile than had previously been acknowledged.
Referring to Kim Jong Un, the official said this report needs to be taken seriously as "we've seen him moving forward" on the program with no indication he is turning back.
The story was attributed to anonymous USA officials. "Other countries have been able to miniaturize in fewer tests, so it seems reasonable to assume that they've been able to miniaturize by this point", he says.
That came a day after China and Russian Federation joined with the United States in a unanimous U.N. Security Council vote approving the toughest economic sanctions yet against the increasingly isolated regime.
North Korea has recently tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that, in theory, could reach NY and DC.
"Assuming everything is true, including that intelligence assessment both existing and everything being accurate, there are still important unknowns", he told CNN.
But experts worry Trump's fiery rhetoric could hurt the U.S. by feeding North Korean insecurities and adding instability to an already tenuous situation.
An analyst who specialises in North Korea, who asked not to be named, told Sky News he believes Pyongyang is "a lot more than halfway" to achieving its aims of producing a nuclear weapon capable of exploding above the United States mainland.
North Korea has vowed that the new United Nations sanctions would not stop it from developing its nuclear arsenal, and that it would never negotiate it away.
Rather, it's that most leaders understand that North Korea is a rational country that understands the USA would destroy it in the event of an actual war, and thus does not want to start a major conflict with the U.S. over nothing.
Tuesday's retweet also coincided with the release of a series of new polls that not only call Trump's Twitter habits into question but also reveal major concerns around the President's trustworthiness and ability to effectively manage the standoff with North Korea. Trump wrote in a tweet on Tuesday morning.
In another statement citing a different military spokesman, North Korea also said it could carry out a pre-emptive operation if the U.S. showed signs of provocation.
North Korea watchers have long maintained that a war between the U.S. and North Korea is unlikely, largely for two reasons.
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