Date
18 December 2017
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets with nuclear scientists and technicians in this undated KCNA picture. Photo: Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets with nuclear scientists and technicians in this undated KCNA picture. Photo: Reuters

Kim Jong-un orders nuclear warhead, ballistic missile tests

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said his country would soon conduct a nuclear warhead test and test launch ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the official KCNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

Kim made the comments as he supervised a successful simulated test of atmospheric re-entry of a ballistic missile that measured the “thermodynamic structural stability of newly-developed heat-resisting materials”, Reuters said, citing the KCNA report.

“Declaring that a nuclear warhead explosion test and a test-fire of several kinds of ballistic rockets able to carry nuclear warheads will be conducted in a short time to further enhance the reliance of nuclear attack capability, [Kim] instructed the relevant section to make prearrangement for them to the last detail,” the KCNA said.

US and South Korean experts have said the general consensus was that North Korea had not yet successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead to be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile.

More crucially, the consensus is that there have been no tests to prove it has mastered the re-entry technology needed to bring a payload back into the atmosphere.

However, Kim said last week his country had indeed miniaturized a nuclear warhead.

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CG

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