John Kerry has arrived in South Korea amid fears the North could be poised for another missile test, the AP reports. Kerry's first trip to the Asia-Pacific as secretary of state, during which he'll also visit China and Japan, was planned prior to concerns about a possible launch. His visit could prompt more threats from Pyongyang, the AP notes. Kerry called the rhetoric the North has been spewing so far "unacceptable" and vowed that it "will not be accepted as a nuclear power," Reuters reports. Meanwhile, US officials are backing off a Pentagon intelligence report saying Pyongyang might be ready to launch a nuclear missile, the New York Times reports.
National intelligence director James Clapper says the intelligence community isn't necessarily in agreement. Adds the Pentagon's press secretary: "It would be inaccurate to suggest that the North Korean regime has fully tested, developed, or demonstrated the kinds of nuclear capabilities referenced in the passage." Rep. Doug Lamborn read what he described as an unclassified sentence from a classified report at a House Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday; officials tell CNN that portion was "mistakenly" designated as unclassified. "Several of us here in the Pentagon were shocked by hearing that assessment read aloud in an open hearing," says one official. South Korea also said today it does not think the North has miniaturized a warhead to the point it could be mounted on a missile, Reuters reports. (Read more Pentagon stories.)