Nuclear warheads have to be miniaturized before they can be placed on top of a ballistic or cruise missile. Those who seek the unilateral disarmament of the US have long claimed North Korea has not mastered that and lacks the technology to do so.
But they’re dead wrong. North Korea mastered that process and the requisite technology years ago. And now, the commander of all US troops on the Korean Peninsula (i.e. the man responsible for holding North Korea at bay), has acknowledged that it’s likely the North Koreans have that technology:
“Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula, said North Korea now is capable of building a miniaturized nuclear warhead, a step needed to complete development of a nuclear-tipped missile.
Such nuclear warheads would be small enough to fit on a ballistic missile and would be a major improvement to Pyongyang’s weapons technology. Gen. Scaparrotti said he believes North Korea also has developed a launcher that could carry an intercontinental ballistic missile with a miniaturized warhead.
He also said dictator Kim Jong Un “is clearly in control of the country,” despite recent rumors that his grip on the nation has slipped. (…)
If North Korea has a launcher as well as a functioning, long-range missile and a miniaturized nuclear warhead, the combined components would significantly increase its capabilities.
Intelligence assessments of North Korea’s capabilities have fluctuated recently, but Gen. Scaparrotti is seen as a voice of authority when it comes to matters involving security in the Asian region.
North Korea has struggled for years in its attempts to develop nuclear warheads and long-range missiles, as well as with the steep technical challenges of combining warhead and missile technology. But Gen. Scaparrotti said it is likely that Pyongyang now has the capability.
“I believe they have the capability to have miniaturized the device at this point, and they have the technology to potentially actually deliver what they say they have,” he said.
Gen. Scaparrotti said North Korea may have gained know-how on warhead-miniaturization technology through its relationships with Iran and Pakistan.
The mention of Iran and Pakistan is significant. Pakistan has already demonstrated the technology and the know-how to miniaturize a warhead and put it atop of a missile, and Iran is now working to master both. This means North Korea will likely transfer the miniaturization technology and know-how to Iran – which will only increase the Iranian nuclear threat.
Ladies and gentlemen, the time for denying and downplaying the North Korean (and Iranian) threat has passed. It’s now time to COUNTER these threats – BEFORE it’s too late. Starting with the wholesale modernization of the entire US nuclear arsenal, cessation of any cuts to it, and the reaffirmation of the guarantee to use it in defense of any treaty ally of the US – including South Korea.