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North Korea Can Miniaturize Nuclear Warheads for Medium-Range Missiles

North Korea has the ability to miniaturize nuclear warheads for its medium-range missiles, but the country still does not appear to have technical capacity to conduct tests, according to a US military expert.

MOSCOW, October 30 (RIA Novosti) – A US military expert believes North Korea has the ability to miniaturize nuclear warheads for its medium-range missiles, however Pyongyang does not appear to have technical capacity to conduct tests, Yonhap News Agency reported on Thursday.

“My analysis is that North Korea could probably miniaturize a warhead that should fit for a Rodong missile,” director of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Mark Fitzpatrick told Yonhap News. “Probably not as Scud missile, which has a smaller diameter, but Rodong most probably.”

Fitzpatrick is currently in South Korea, taking part in the third Seoul Defense Dialogue, which started on Wednesday. Hundreds of officials and security experts from 24 countries and three international organizations have gathered at the international forum gathered, the source reported.

The expert has said that North Korea would attempt to test its miniaturized warhead.

“Probably, the North [North Korea] knows how to do it [the miniaturized warhead] based on their technical abilities, but until they test the miniature warhead, they would not be sure. In the process of the warhead development, it takes several tests to get it right”, Fitzpatrick added, as quoted by Yonhap News.

Pyongyang started to test its nuclear weapons in 2006. In February 2013, the country tested its most powerful weapon yet.
Just three weeks ago, the two Koreas exchanged heavy artillery fire. The countries have formally been in a state of war since 1953, as no peace treaty was signed after the Korean War ended. Relations between Seoul and Pyongyang have been tense, especially since North Korea torpedoed its neighbor’s warship in the Yellow Sea back in 2010.

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