U.S. President Donald Trump threatened the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with military action.
This came after American intelligence reportedly confirmed that Pyongyang has successfully produced a nuclear warhead, small enough to fit inside one of its missiles.
Many in Washington are saying this is a game-changer.
CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg reports from Washington, D.C.
President Trump offered no ambiguity in his threat to the DPRK and its leader.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal statement. And as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen,” President Trump promised.
Trump’s comments followed an assessment from the American Defense Intelligence Agency, read, in part to the Washington Post, that concludes: the DPRK has the capabilities to build a nuclear warhead so compact, that it could be loaded onto a missile capable of crossing the Pacific.
That’s something Pyongyang has wanted to achieve for years. Over the weekend, one DPRK official said there was just one target: the U.S. The Japanese Ministry of Defense this week also concluded that Pyongyang has achieved “miniaturization.”
By most accounts, it’s a significant step for the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program, with tests starting more than a decade ago. That’s despite international sanctions, the latest passed by the UN Security Council just last weekend.
Last September, the DPRK claimed it had in fact carried out a successful nuclear test, using a miniaturized warhead small enough to fit onto a missile warhead. Six months before that, Pyongyang launched a long-range rocket, it said, to put a satellite into space. Many condemned it as a covert ballistic missile test.
A separate U.S. assessment concluded that the DPRK now has around 60 nuclear warheads, all under the control of President Kim Jung Un.
That’s still fewer than estimates for several other countries in the region, and many fewer than the U.S. and Russia.
U.S. intelligence reports famously led to war in Iraq, and later proved wrong. While some are urging Trump to act swiftly, others are urging caution and restraint before the U.S. launches any preemptive strike.
Possible DPRK strike on Guam
The DPRK said it is considering missile strikes near Guam, a Pacific island territory of the U.S.
The island is home to major U.S. military bases, one of which contains U.S. strategic bombers. It is more than 3,000 kilometers from Pyongyang. The DPRK news agency said the plan still awaits “full examination and completion” before reporting to the country’s Supreme Command.
Xu Qinduo on the latest DPRK nuclear warhead and the international reaction
For more on what the DPRK latest nuclear warhead means for the international community, CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke to Xu Qinduo, a political analyst with China Radio International.