politics

Japanese report says N Korea has miniaturized nuclear warheads: paper

8 Comments

Japan has upgraded its estimate of North Korea's nuclear weapons capability in an upcoming annual Defense White Paper, saying it seems Pyongyang has achieved the miniaturization of warheads, the Yomiuri newspaper said in an unsourced report on Wednesday.

That compares with the assessment in last year's report in which the government said it was possible North Korea had achieved miniaturization, the Japanese daily said without citing sources.

The report, to be approved at a Cabinet meeting in mid-September, will maintain the assessment that North Korea's military activities pose a "serious and imminent threat", the Yomiuri said.

North Korea's ability to build nuclear warheads small enough to fit on its ballistic missiles has been widely accepted for several years, but the Japanese report highlights the lack of progress on denuclearization talks aimed at curtailing the program, said Vipin Narang, a nuclear affairs expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.

"It is Japan that is most threatened, and probably the primary target of such a capability," he said. "So openly acknowledging it underscores Tokyo’s acute fears that North Korea’s nuclear program continues to grow unabated with no foreseeable plan to slow its growth, let alone eliminate them."

South Korea's 2018 Defense White Paper, released in January, reported that North Korea’s ability to miniaturize nuclear weapons "appears to have reached a considerable level."

According to South Korean media reports late last year, the South Korean intelligence agency told lawmakers that North Korea had continued to miniaturize nuclear warheads even after the Singapore summit between Trump and Kim in June 2018.

At that time, North Korea committed "to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula" and destroyed some tunnels and buildings at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

But a second Trump-Kim meeting in February collapsed without an agreement, and North Korea has since resumed missile tests.

U.S. envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun was in Seoul this week to meet with South Korean officials, and said he was prepared to engage with North Korea "as soon as we hear from our counterparts."

American officials have concluded for years that North Korea had likely produced miniaturized nuclear warheads. A leaked report by the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2017 concluded that North Korea had successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, according to The Washington Post.

In last year's Defense White Paper, Japan said "miniaturizing a nuclear weapon small enough to be mounted on a ballistic missile requires a considerably high degree of technological capacity," and that "it is possible that North Korea has achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons and has developed nuclear warheads."

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

8 Comments
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This is not a pleasant thought for peace in the region, nor the world! NK is not like any other nuclear weapons capable country on the planet and is not worried about the effects of what would happen to IT if they chose to use one of these weapons.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Looks like Trump's love letters aren't working. Big surprise...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

A leaked report by the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2017 concluded that North Korea had successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles

That's extremely worrying, but who knows what to believe. Trump and his backers have trashed US intelligence agencies and their reports when they're critical of world leaders Trump supports. I have to think Trump will ignore this info. After all, he's got golf to play (on the taxpayer's millions), TV to watch and tweets to send. Plus Trump doesn't want to jeopardize any future (present?) deals with Kim, Putin and Xi. (See Ivanka, Inc. trademarks with CCP oligarchs)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Iran has entered the chat.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The US also has nuclear weapons and is the only nation to have used them against civilians. Many nations have nuclear weapons and they did not asked US approval before their development.

Let ALL nations denuclearise or ALL nations have them. No nation needs US approval to have a defence system against US dictatorship. Look at what happened to Iraq and Libya because they did not have adequate defence.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Note that it is in the Abe Administration's best interest to have such a report appear right now, and that most "leaks" are intentional. This helps justify Japan's military buildup, and further solidifies its position as a US client state.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The US also has nuclear weapons and is the only nation to have used them against civilians.

With valid reason.

Many nations have nuclear weapons and they did not asked US approval before their development. 

With the exception of Russia, the other countries never threatened the US with total annihilation.

Let ALL nations denuclearise or ALL nations have them.

I disagree. Rogue nations that threaten us or their neighbors should not have them. If they try then I believe we should relieve them of it.

No nation needs US approval to have a defence system against US dictatorship. Look at what happened to Iraq and Libya because they did not have adequate defence.

They don’t need approval and they don’t need to worry if we make it as painful for them as possible with whatever we can hit them with, sanctions is a great start.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The US also has nuclear weapons and is the only nation to have used them against civilians. 

The US developed their atomic bomb during WARTIME and as a new weapon was used against the enemy. During wartime any new weapon developed is immediately deployed.

The Soviet Union, China and other nations developed their nuclear weapons during peacetime so naturally it wouldn't be used in peacetime.

Will North Korea be the first to use their nuclear weapons against he US, South Korea or Japan? (Of course, North Korea still considers itself at war and they might use it....if they dare.)

Let ALL nations denuclearise 

Are you aware that there was a time when the world was nuclear free? Was there "World Peace" during those times? All those wars were fought with conventional weapons. Even after 1945 all wars have been fought with conventional weapons. Even the superpowers, through proxy wars, used conventional weapons.

And now you want to take us back to the times when total all-out world wars were thinkable.

The one good thing about nuclear weapons is that it made world wars among the superpowers unthinkable and the threat of nuclear destruction forced nations to settle their conflicts through dialog and negotiations.

 No nation needs US approval to have a defence system against US dictatorship. 

But nations need Russian or China's approval to have a defense system against Russian and Chinese dictatorships? Let Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other SE Asian and European countries have their own defense systems.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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