By Jack Kim SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea can mount a nuclear warhead on a medium-range missile, a South Korean official said on Tuesday in a new assessment of the capability of a country that conducted its fourth nuclear test this year. "We believe they have accomplished miniaturization of a nuclear warhead to mount it on a Rodong missile," said the South Korean official, who has knowledge of South Korea's assessment of the North’s nuclear program. The official spoke to a small group of reporters on condition of anonymity. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said last month that his country had miniaturized nuclear warheads to mount on ballistic missiles. It was his first direct statement of a claim often made in state media though never independently verified. The Rodong missile can fire a 1 tonne (1,100 lb) warhead a distance of up to 2,000 km (1,250 miles), the official said. That would put all of South Korea, most of Japan and parts of Russia and China in range. "We believe they have the ability to mount a nuclear warhead on a Rodong. Whether they will fire it like that is a political decision," said the official. There was no direct evidence that the North has successfully mounted a warhead on such a missile, the South Korean official said, declining to discuss the basis for the change in assessment. The United States, South Korea's staunch ally, concurred. "We know that they've said they have that capability, and we have to take them at their word," Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said at a briefing for reporters on Tuesday. "But we have not seen them demonstrate it, so we don't share that assessment necessarily but we do accept what they say as a threat we need to take as real." For decades, North Korea and South Korea have faced off against each other. An armistice ended the fighting in the Korean 1950-53 civil war but there was no peace treaty. The South's conservative president, Park Geun-hye, has reversed a policy of trying to engage the North in dialogue and has instead adopted a hard line against it, particularly since the North conducted its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and a month later launched a long-range rocket putting an object into space orbit. The test and launch prompted the U.N. Security Council to impose new sanctions. South Korea has previously said North Korea had made progress in its efforts to miniaturize a nuclear warhead but the capability was incomplete. South Korea's Defence Ministry said on Tuesday that assessment remained the military's position. Rodong missiles, developed from Soviet-era Scud missiles, make up the bulk of the North's short- and medium-range missile arsenal with an estimated stockpile of 200. Experts have predicted that the delivery vehicle for the North's first nuclear warhead would be the medium-range Rodong missile, rather than an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which the North has yet to test. Despite threats to strike the mainland United States, the North is seen as several years away from building an ICBM that can carry a nuclear warhead. Experts have previously said a functioning mid-range nuclear missile would need the technology to overcome the stress of launch and re-entry and to strike the target with precision, which requires repeated testing. The North fired a Rodong missile in March. It flew about 800 km (500 miles) into the sea, in the first such launch since two Rodongs were fired in 2014. (Additional reporting by Yeganeh Torbati in Washington; editing by Robert Birsel and Grant McCool)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- The Daily Beast
DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty ImagesTwo foreign female tourists were caught in a crossfire between rival crime groups and shot to death last Thursday in the high-end resort town of Tulum, Mexico. Three other people were also wounded when the firefight broke out in the popular restaurant, La Malquerida, not far from the beach. Of the two women who were killed, one was from Germany and the other India.“They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and got caught in an exchange of gunfire betwee
- Lexington Herald-Leader
Linda Blackford: Schools are so confusing these days. Books about the civil rights movement, no. Lap dances with administrators, yes!
- ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports
Although Raiders coach Jon Gruden technically resigned, the resignation undoubtedly came under threat of termination, if he didn’t choose to leave voluntarily. Unresolved when he abruptly walked away was the balance of his reported 10-year, $100 million contract. Via Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com, owner Mark Davis said Wednesday that a settlement has been reached. Gruden [more]
- Yahoo Life
Tara Reid responds to body shamers who accuse her of being 'so thin': 'Please don't be one of those people'
Tara Reid and her friend Taryn Manning shut down body shamers who accused Reid of being too thin.
As her first granddaughter, Princess Charlotte is set to inherit one of Princess Diana's most famous, iconic and coveted heirlooms.
Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino dropped a real whopper this week.
- Miami Herald
The man had one-off roles on the shows.
Donald Trump's "letter to the editor" was crammed full of nonsense, but the newspaper published it anyway,
- Yahoo Sports Canada
Joel Quenneville shouldn't have been anywhere near the Panthers' bench on Wednesday.
Jada Pinkett Smith is getting real about her sex life with husband Will Smith. It’s a topic a lot of couples might relate to about keeping things spicy in the bedroom after many years together — and the expectations we place on a partner when it comes to our wants and desires. Jada had Gwyneth […]
The newly-announced SKIMS x Fendi ready-to-wear collection launches on Nov. 9
- Washington Examiner
A Kentucky high school is under investigation after photos of male students in lingerie giving faculty lap dances were posted to the school's official Facebook page.
- Madame Noire
Especially as they voyage back home, we wish the Arby family the best.
The tabloid slammed Donald Trump’s eldest son for topping “sick GOP” taunts of Alec Baldwin following the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York tried to goad the former president in an MSNBC interview.
- The Wrap
Inexperienced ‘Rust’ Armorer Enraged Nicolas Cage on Previous Film: ‘You Just Blew My F–ing Eardrums Out!’ (Exclusive)
A crew member demanded that armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed be fired, but she went on to handle guns on "Rust"
- Women's Health
Nicole Scherzinger looked fierce as she did a poolside bridge pose while on vacation in the Caribbean. The former Pussycat Doll says yoga keeps her fit.
Harry Is in ‘Panic Mode’ Over the Queen’s Health—He Still ‘Feels Guilty’ He Never Said Bye to Philip
Harry would "never forgive himself" if the same thing happened with his grandmother.
NASCAR fined crew chief Adam Stevens $20,000 and suspended him from Sunday’s Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway (2 p.m. ET, NBC) when the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was found with two lug nuts not safe and secure after the playoff race at Kansas Speedway. Stevens was one of two crew chiefs suspended […]
- The Daily Beast
Fox NewsDuring a fiery Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at one point defended parents throwing up Nazi salutes at school board meetings.Cruz, along with other Republicans, lambasted Attorney General Merrick Garland for directing the Justice Department this month to investigate the rise in violent threats against educators. That rise has coincided with right-wing media fueling fury over mask mandates and so-called critical race theory.Referencing a letter writ