BAD NEWS FOR THE WORLD: Suspicious activity being reported at North Korean nuclear sites, as the rogue nation continues to perplex the world
North Korea has the capability to mount a nuclear warhead on a medium-range missile that could strike
targets in Russia, China, Japan and the Korean Peninsula, a South Korean official revealed for the first time Tuesday.
“We believe they have accomplished miniaturization of a nuclear warhead to mount it on a Rodong missile,” an official with knowledge of South Korea’s assessment of the North’s nuclear program, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.
North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un said in March that his country had miniaturized nuclear warheads to mount on ballistic missiles, but the claim was never independently verified.
The official said there is no direct evidence that the North has actually mounted such a warhead on a ballistic missile and declined to elaborate on the assessment.
“Whether they will fire it like that is a political decision,” the official told Reuters.
Rodong missiles can fire a 1-ton warhead a distance of up to 1,250 miles, putting all of South Korea, most of Japan and parts of Russia and China in range of a strike.
Despite the North’s persistent threats against the U.S., the country is seen as being several years away from building intercontinental ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads, according to Reuters.
The comments from the South Korean official came as satellite images recorded “suspicious activity” at North Korea’s main nuclear complex, according to a report by a U.S.-based think tank.
The report by the website 38 North, which is run by the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, claimed that exhaust plumes had been spotted at least twice in the past five weeks at the complex at Yongbyon.
The plumes suggest that the buildings at the complex 56 miles north of Pyongyang are being heated, though it is not clear why.
The lab is where North Korea separates weapons-grade plutonium from waste from a nuclear reactor. The North announced in 2013 its intention to refurbish and restart nuclear facilities, including the reactor, which was shut down in 2007 under aid-for-disarmament negotiations it later withdrew from. The reactor has been the source of plutonium for the North’s small arsenal of weapons.
In February, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress that North Korea has been operating the reactor long enough that it could begin recovering material for nuclear weapons “within a matter of weeks to months.” He was speaking after North Korea had conducted its latest nuclear test explosion in January and then a long-range rocket launch weeks later.
The website said the exhaust plumes are unusual and
FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE CLICK LINKClick here for the Top 12 Moments in Jewish History...LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN! »