N. Korea Closer to Becoming International Nuclear Threat

Officials believe it's only a matter of time until it has long-range nuclear missile
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2016 3:03 PM CDT

(Newser) – North Korea may not be able to launch a nuclear attack on the US, but the Washington Post reports it's getting closer and closer to having that ability, as evidenced by Friday's nuclear test. “It’s a clear indication of progress towards developing a miniaturized nuclear warhead for North Korea’s ballistic missiles,” analyst Alison Evans says. She says North Korea probably has 15 or 20 nuclear weapons at this point, but so far it's only able to put them on trucks or short-range missiles. On Friday, North Korea claimed to have "standardized" nuclear warheads to make them "smaller, lighter" with "higher strike power."

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It's impossible to confirm whether North Korea, known for exaggerating its abilities, actually has the technology to create nuclear ballistic missiles. But even if it doesn't, US military officials now believe it's only a matter of time. President Obama called for new international sanctions against North Korea after its most recent nuclear test, which he called a "grave threat," AFP reports. According to USA Today, the UN Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting Friday. But previous UN resolutions haven't done much to slow down North Korea's nuclear and missile tests, both of which have accelerated under Kim Jong Un. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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