North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (second right), inspects preparations for the launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (second right), inspects preparations for the launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4.

Korean nuke able to hit us next year

NORTH Korea will be in possession of a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting Australia and the US as early as next year, according to the Pentagon.

Previous US intelligence estimates had placed such capability as being at least three years away.

The Australian reports senior US defence officials as saying the Defence Intelligence Agency now believes Kim Jong-un will have a "reliable, nuclear- capable intercontinental ballistic missile” sometime in 2018.

The first successful test launch of a ballistic missile with the necessary range was conducted on July 4.

The East Asia intelligence manager for the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Scott Bray, said: "North Korea's recent test of an intercontinental range ballistic missile - which was not a surprise to the intelligence community - is one of the milestones that we have expected would help refine our timeline and judgments on the threats that Kim Jong-un poses to the continental US.

"This test and its impact on our assessments highlight the threat that North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs pose to the United States, to our allies in the region, and to the whole world. The intelligence community is closely monitoring the expanding threat from North Korea.”

- staff writers



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