WASHINGTON – A U.S. intelligence report concludes that North Korea has advanced its nuclear knowhow to the point that it could arm a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead, a jarring revelation in the midst of bellicose threats from the unpredictable communist regime.
President Barack Obama urged calm, calling on Pyongyang to end its saber-rattling while sternly warning that he would “take all necessary steps” to protect American citizens.
The new American intelligence analysis, disclosed Thursday at a hearing on Capitol Hill, says the Pentagon’s intelligence wing has “moderate confidence” that North Korea has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles but that the weapon was unreliable.
Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., read aloud what he said was an unclassified paragraph from a secret Defense Intelligence Agency report that was supplied to some members of Congress. The reading seemed to take Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by surprise, who said he hadn’t seen the report and declined to answer questions about it.
English: Own work, based on Wikipedia blank map. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Editor’s note: Nut jobs with nukes! Never a good combination!
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea issued its latest belligerent threat Saturday, saying it has entered “a state of war” with South Korea a day after its young leader threatened the United States because two American B-2 bombers flew a training mission in South Korea.
Analysts say a full-scale conflict is extremely unlikely and North Korea’s threats are instead aimed at drawing Washington into talks that could result in aid and boosting leader Kim Jong Un’s image at home. But the harsh rhetoric from North Korea and rising animosity from the rivals that have followed U.N. sanctions over Pyongyang’s Feb. 12 nuclear test have raised worries of a misjudgment leading to a clash.
In a joint statement by the government, political parties and organizations, North Korea said Saturday that it will deal with all matters involving South Korea according to “wartime regulations.” It also warned it will retaliate against any provocations by the United States and South Korea without “any prior notice.”
The divided Korean Peninsula is already in a technical state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty. But Pyongyang said it was scrapping the war armistice earlier this month.
English: Locator map of South Korea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Editor’s note: Very scary situation. Unstable governments with nukes!
SEOUL — North Korea said Monday that it had “completely scrapped” the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War, following up on a threat made days earlier and increasing the prospect of a strike against or a skirmish with the South, analysts said.
The North has made several similar announcements in the past, most recently in 2009, and analysts said this latest declaration could prove to be bluster rather than the marker of a wholesale shift in Pyongyang’s dealings with Seoul. Experts also note that Pyongyang — whether bound by the cease-fire or not — has occasionally ignored its terms, most notably with fatal attacks on the South in 2010.
Still, the armistice has kept a shaky peace on the peninsula for 60 years, and the North’s apparent withdrawal — coupled with its severing of a communications hotline at the demilitarized border Monday — makes it more difficult for South Korea and the United States to prevent or resolve disputes with Pyongyang.
Anxiety about the North is particularly high for the United States and its allies because they have little insight into the decision-making style of Kim Jong Eun, the young leader who took power of the opaque police state in December 2011 and now appears to be using the same brand of brinkmanship his father once did.