If North Korea continues its work on nuclear and rocket technology, it will eventually produce a nuclear warhead-tipped missile capable of reaching the US, the Pentagon reported to the US Congress.
The Thursday report, which is the first version of an annual Pentagon assessment required by law, pointed out to the launch of a satellite in December and the third nuclear test in February as the signs that North Korea’s progress towards a fully-fledged intercontinental nuclear missile.
“These advances in ballistic-missile delivery systems, coupled with developments in nuclear technology… are in line with North Korea’s stated objective of being able to strike the US homeland,” the report said.
The document said North Korea was one of the biggest US security challenges in the region, mentioning its record of selling weapons technology to other countries and its willingness to “undertake provocative and destabilizing behavior.”
Pyongyang, which was subjected to a new round of UN sanctions in response to its third nuclear test, demanded that the US and South Korea abort their massive joint exercise. The North threatened to use its nuclear arsenals against target on its neighbor’s territory and American soil, if the drills escalate into an attack.