Pentagon says nuclear missile is in reach for North Korea
April 12, 2013
A new assessment by the Pentagon’s intelligence arm has concluded for the first time, with “moderate confidence,” that North Korea has learned how to make a nuclear weapon small enough to be delivered by a ballistic missile, according to The New York Times Thursday.
But late Thursday, the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., released a statement saying that the assessment did not represent a consensus of the nation’s intelligence community and that “North Korea has not yet demonstrated the full range of capabilities necessary for a nuclear armed missile.”
Outside experts said that the report’s conclusions could explain why Mr. Hagel has announced in recent weeks that the Pentagon was bolstering long-range antimissile defenses in Alaska and California, intended to protect the West Coast, and rushing another antimissile system, originally not set for deployment until 2015, to Guam.
The report issued by the Defense Intelligence Agency last month was titled “Dynamic Threat Assessment 8099: North Korea Nuclear Weapons Program.” Its executive summary reads: “DIA. assesses with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles; however the reliability will be low.”