Nord-Korea bekreftet onsdag at det mestrer teknikken med å miniminere atombomber slik at de lar seg anpasse i hodet på en rakett. Amerikanerne har lenge trodd at nordkoreanerne mestret teknikken, men det er likevel noe annet når de selv bekrefter det. – Regimet kan nå føle seg immune mot et angrep fra USA, tror en ekspert.
Den nye lederen, Kim Yong Un, virker ustabil. Han henretter personer i ledelsen på løpende bånd, gjerne offentlig og med de voldsomste anklager om forræderi. At han skryter av atomvåpen-kapasitet virker urovekkende på flere enn Vesten.
«We have had the capability of miniaturizing nuclear warheads, as well as producing multiform weapons, for some time,» the North Korean military said in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
«We can also guarantee the accuracy not only of short-to-mid-range but also long-range rocket launches, for which we have had the technology for a long time,» the statement said.
David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector, recently told CNN that Pyongyang could have 10 to 15 nuclear weapons at this point and that it could grow that amount by several weapons per year.
Fashioning a nuclear device small enough to fit on the tip of a ballistic missile is a difficult task. North Korea had signaled its intent to achieve that goal at the time of its most recent nuclear test, in 2013. It described the device it tested then as «a smaller and lighter» bomb than the ones it detonated in 2006 and 2009.
The apparent progress of the North Korean regime’s nuclear weapons program is threatening to upend the United States’ strategic calculations in the region.
«Pyongyang’s advances in mobile ICBM capabilities could end up undermining the state of stable deterrence that currently exists on the Korean Peninsula,» Victor Cha, Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote in an opinion article for CNN last month. «Put simply, these capabilities could give North Korea confidence that it is immune from any U.S. counterstrikes.»