News / Asia

Analyst: North Korea May Already Have Militarized Warhead

FILE - Yongbyon nuclear facility in Yongbyon, North Korea.
FILE - Yongbyon nuclear facility in Yongbyon, North Korea.
Jee Abbey LeeBaik Sungwon
As concern grows that North Korea may be preparing for another underground nuclear weapons test, a leading nuclear scientist says Pyongyang already may have acquired a device small enough to fit atop a missile.

David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, explained that the North does not need another nuclear test to acquire a militarized warhead.

“I think it is a mistake to think that they require this testing in order to design a militarized warhead. I think they may have gotten one from Pakistan or China," said Albright.

But Albright, who also worked as an inspector for the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, said that doesn't rule out another North Korea test.

"But what they can't get without testing is reliability. So the testing is invaluable to make sure everything works," he said.

The assessment came amid wide speculation about the North’s nuclear capability, triggered by the North’s warning that it could conduct a “new form” of nuclear test.

Nick Hansen, an analyst at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University  and 38 North, says the point of future tests will be focused on increasing Pyongyang's ability to weaponize its warheads.

“The only reason they are doing this in developing a warhead or a nuclear bomb is to put it on a missile," said Hansen.

He added that he thinks North Korea may be preparing for multiple, simultaneous tests.

"So one of the things you could think of is a new form of testing, is to test two bombs simultaneously or as close as they can get it. Pakistan did that by the way. And if you do that, you don't catch as much flack from the international community as you would if you test one off and then two months later test another one off," he said.

Despite growing concern in Seoul, a U.S. research group this week said there is "little evidence" North Korea will conduct a nuclear test during President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Seoul.

South Korea said this week it detected increased activity at the North's Punggye-ri nuclear test site, suggesting an underground test could be imminent.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Korean service.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid