A South Korean official on Tuesday warned that North Korea is increasing its nuclear capability more rapidly than previously estimated as it seeks to build a nuclear missile capable of reaching the mainland U.S.

“North Korea has been developing its nuclear weapons at a faster-than-expected pace,” said Cho Myoung-gyon, the unification minister for South Korea, as reported by the Yonhap News Agency.

“We cannot rule out the possibility that North Korea could announce its completion of a clear force within one year.”

Cho cited 2018, the North Korean regime’s 70th anniversary, as a crucial year for Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, which have proven to be a thorn in the side of President Trump during his first year in office.

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