U.S. Aides Sees Nuclear Arms Advance by North Korea

Weapons Could Threaten Japan, U.S. ... North Korea, U.S. intelligence officials say, can now arm its missiles with nuclear warheads, putting Japan and possibly the western United States at risk. The New York Times, as well as several other outlests, are reporting today that testimony by Vice Adm. Lowell Jacoby, the Defense Intelligence Agency chief, Thursday revealed that although North Korea is believed to have this capability, there is no proof that the North has armed any of its missiles with such warheads or had developed warheads small enough to be delivered with their current missiles. Observers said that the testimony was remarkable because it was the first time officials publicly stated that North Korea had such capabilities. Said Jonathan Pollack, a professor of Asian and Pacific Studies at the Naval War College who has written on North Korea’s weapons program, to the Times: "This has to constrain the president’s ability to deal with the North Korean nuclear problem. If you believe that Japanese territory is potentially at risk to a North Korean nuclear-armed missile, it has to change the calculation."

The president, speaking at a news conference Thursday night, said that he would continue to pursue talks with the North, but he was prepared to go to the United Nations Security Council if need be. "It’s better to have more than one voice sending the same message to Kim Jong Il," President Bush said. "It’s the best way to deal with the issue diplomatically."

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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