WASHINGTON (CBS4) – Secretary of State John Kerry is in South Korea issuing a warning about nuclear threats. It comes as Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn went public with a report that indicates North Korea can in fact back up the threats.
“North Korea will not be accepted as a nuclear power, the rhetoric we are hearing from North Korea is simply unacceptable,” Kerry said.
North Korea issued its own warning saying Japan will be its first target if war breaks out. A report from the Defense Intelligence Agency claims Pyongyang may have the ability back up that threat. Lamborn revealed the information at a hearing Thursday.
“DIA assesses with moderate confidence the north currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles. However, the reliability will be low,” Lamborn said.
But many U.S. officials are downplaying the report saying it’s unclear if North Korea has the ability to make a nuclear weapon small enough to put it on a missile and launch it with accuracy. Still, Japan and the U.S. are boosting missile defense in the Pacific. And there are reports Kim Jong Un is preparing for another test launch.
“It is a huge mistake for him to do that because it will further isolate his country,” Kerry said.
The U.S. and its allies have used tough economic sanctions to try and deter North Korea’s leader. On Saturday Kerry will head to China and ask officials there to cut off financial support to Kim Jong Un’s regime.