In a confidential analysis, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) concluded that North Korea manufactured a miniaturized nuclear warhead, which can fit inside long-range missiles capable of reaching the United States.
Producing such a warhead was a capability that analysts estimated North Korea would take years to reach. Two intelligence officials confirmed the DIA's findings to The Washington Post, which reported on the DIA assessment on Tuesday.
“The IC [intelligence community] assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles,” an excerpt from the analysis read.
During the morning before the Post's report, President Donald Trump called on international partners to be “tough & decisive” in response to North Korea:
While neither the DIA nor the Office of the Director of National Intelligence provided comment, another assessment from the Japanese Ministry of Defense found evidence suggesting North Korea was able to produce a miniaturized warhead.
News of the regime's capability comes against the backdrop of several provocative missile and nuclear tests. In July, the U.S. State Department confirmed that North Korea had launched an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States. And according to the Post, the hermetically sealed country has tested five nuclear weapons since 2006.
In September 2016, the regime tested a bomb with a blast estimated at twice the size of the one in Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II.
The country also, according to another intelligence assessment, is estimated to have at least 60 nuclear weapons.
North Korea's actions drew a punishing response from several of the world's major countries. On Saturday, for example, members of the United Nations Security Council approved new economic sanctions on the nuclear regime.
In response, North Korea warned that the United States would “pay dearly,” condemned the sanctions, and refused to negotiate its nuclear program.
“We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets on negotiating table,” the regime said, according to Bloomberg.