17:59 GMT20 January 2021
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    Former CIA analyst and whistleblower John Kiriakou claims that North Korea still lacks the capability to miniaturize any of its nuclear weapons and mount them on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — North Korea still lacks the capability to miniaturize any of its nuclear weapons and mount them on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), former CIA analyst and whistleblower John Kiriakou told Sputnik.

    "While the North Koreans certainly have nuclear weapons, they have not miniaturized them," Kiriakou, who also served as a senior analyst for the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Thursday.

    Earlier in the day, US Northern Command Commander William Gortney told the Senate Armed Services Committee that North Korea’s KN08 road-mobile ICBM were capable of striking the continental United States.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un repeated his claim earlier in the week to be in possession of thermonuclear, or hydrogen bomb. He also put the country’s nuclear weapons on full alert.

    Kiriakou noted that Kim was most likely bluffing and the North Korean defense establishment had shown no indication of having the expertise necessary to miniaturize nuclear or thermonuclear warheads that could be fired on an ICBM.

    "I do not believe it for a second. They have not tested miniaturized weapons and they certainly would not want to provoke what could be a nuclear response from the United States," he said.

    Kiriakou gained international recognition as the only person the US government sent to prison for exposing the George W. Bush administration's torture program.


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