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North Korea 'only months away' from U.S. nuclear strike, claims diplomat

North Korea 'only months away' from U.S. nuclear strike, claims diplomat

North Korea 'only months away' from U.S. nuclear strike, claims diplomat

He then warned Pyongyang "may now be only months away from the capability to strike the U.S. with nuclear-armed ballistic missiles".

DPRK, or Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is the official name of North Korea.

"North Korea has accelerated its provocative pursuit of nuclear weapons and missile capabilities, and expressed explicit threats to use nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies in the region", USA disarmament ambassador Robert Wood told the Geneva forum.

Singling out the regime in Pyongyang which conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September-the only country to have tested a nuclear weapon in the 21st century-Wood said North Korea represented an "urgent and unpredictable threat" to the US and its allies.

North Korea may be just months away from being able to hit the United States mainland with a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile, a senior American disarmament official said Tuesday - as Pyongyang said Washington was considering a pre-emptive strike against it.

Wood later told Reuters that he had "no new information to share" when questioned on the basis for his assessment of North Korea's missile technology.

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North Korea has carried out six nuclear bomb tests between 2006 and previous year, as well as a bevy of ballistic missile launches. In November it tested the Hwasong-15, believed to be capable of reaching the continental US.

"The challenge posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile programs is perhaps the most significant foreign policy challenge our nation has faced in decades", the letter continued.

Wood described the changes as necessary to face a more "complex and threatening" security environment, pointing to the expansion of nuclear arsenals' strategic importance in North Korea as well as in Russian Federation and China.

North Korea has shown a conciliatory stance toward South Korea by sending athletes to the PyeongChang Olympic Games, but continues denouncing the US.

"What I would call "the charm offensive" frankly is fooling no one", Wood said.

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