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Nuclear cat out of bag: North Korea may have nuke missiles

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 12th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Adding fuel to the fire of an already tense international situation, an unclassified Pentagon report not yet released to the public suggests that North Korea can arm missiles with nuclear warheads. "North Korea now has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles," the report states.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This came to light after a House Armed Services Committee hearing this week. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado) began quoting from what he said was an unclassified version of the DIA report, which has not yet been made public.

The nation's top military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, appeared to be caught off-guard. The Pentagon has tried to clam the tense situation over the past few days. General Dempsey's reaction suggested that he was not pleased to have the DIA assessment made public.

Lamborn, reading from the report toward the end of a defense budget hearing, said, "They say, 'DIA assess with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles. However, the reliability will be low.' General, would you agree with that assessment by DIA?" he asked

"I can't touch that one," Dempsey answered. After some haggling, Lamborn reiterated the question to Dempsey.

"And your question is do I agree with the DIA's assessment?" Dempsey repeated.

"Yes," Lamborn responded.

"Well," Dempsey answered, "You said it's not publicly released, so I choose not to comment on it."

Military officials say that if North Korea does have nuclear-armed missiles, it could strike South Korea, Japan, or U.S. forces in Japan. They could also strike Guam, but Hawaii and the mainland U.S. are out of the North's missile range, according to U.S. intelligence estimates.

North Korea is expected to launch a missile shortly in a show of defiance against the West. The administration says there is no indication that the missiles readied for launch are nuclear-armed.

In related news, Secretary of State John Kerry in Seoul, South Korea said the U.S. would defend the world from North Korea. He also warned that North Korea would not be accepted as a nuclear state.

Kerry gave the strongest indication yet that military force could be used to tackle the escalating crisis on the Korean peninsula.

"The U.S., South Korea and the international community are united in the fact that North Korea will not be accepted as a nuclear power.

"The rhetoric we are hearing from North Korea is simply unacceptable. I'm here to make it clear today that the U.S. will defend our allies and ourselves," Kerry said.

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