President Donald Trump warned Tuesday that North Korean threats would be met with “fire and fury” while speaking with reporters in New Jersey.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump said. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening… and I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
Trump’s comments come just hours after reports indicated North Korea has already produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead capable of fitting atop its intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The confidential U.S. intelligence assessment, first reported on by the Washington Post Tuesday, was completed on July 28 by the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency.
“The IC [intelligence community] assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles,” the document states.
The conclusion follows a previous DIA assessment revealed last month that argued Pyongyang wouldn’t achieve nuclear miniaturization until next year, an estimate that had previously been slated for 2020.
A separate assessment from the Japanese Ministry of Defense this week concerning miniaturization also concluded North Korea’s achievement.
Questions still remain as to whether the warhead, which reportedly has yet to be tested, can survive an ICBM’s re-entry phase through the earth’s atmosphere.
Following North Korea’s July 28 test of a Hwasong-14 ICBM – which revealed Pyongyang’s likely ability to reach targets as far away as Chicago and New York – footage captured by a Japanese weather camera appeared to show the missile’s re-entry vehicle disintegrating during its descent into the Sea of Japan.
Despite the apparent failure, other experts warned that the re-entry vehicle would have likely survived had the ICBM been launched on a normal trajectory and not at a highly lofted angle.
On Saturday the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution to impose sanctions against Pyongyang intended to reduce the country’s annual export revenue by $1 billion.
Ambassador Nikki Haley of the United States described the sanctions as “the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation.”
Shortly after Trump’s warning Tuesday, North Korea issued new threats towards the island of Guam, home to three U.S. military bases, in response to repeated flyovers in the Korean peninsula by B1-B bombers.
“The KPA Strategic Force is now carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 in order to contain the U.S. major military bases on Guam including the Anderson Air Force Base,” a North Korean spokesman said.
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