South Korea doubts North could launch nuclear-armed missile
Iran Press TV
Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:38AM GMT
South Korea says it doubts that North Korea has the ability to launch a nuclear-armed ballistic missile, as earlier claimed by the United States.
The South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok said on Friday, "North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests, but it is still doubtful that North Korea has made a small, light warhead that can be mounted on a missile."
The remarks came in response to the assessment of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) that said the North had developed a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile.
On Thursday, US Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn read at a hearing on Capitol Hill an 'unclassified' paragraph from a secret Defense Intelligence Agency report that the DIA had "moderate confidence" that North Korea possessed nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles.
The Korean Peninsula has been locked in a cycle of escalating military rhetoric following the participation of nuclear-capable US B-52 and B-2 stealth bombers in recent joint military drills with South Korea.
On Thursday, North Korea said, "Our arms are ready to fire and the exact coordinates are put into the warheads. Once we push the button, it will be fired and the strongholds of our enemies will be turned into a sea of flames."
On April 9, Pyongyang urged all foreign institutions, enterprises, and tourists in South Korea to leave the country, warning that the Korean Peninsula was nearing 'thermonuclear war.'
North Korea declared on March 30 that it was in a "state of war" with South Korea. Pyongyang warned that if Washington and Seoul launched a preemptive attack, the conflict would "not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war."
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