People were in a frenzy after the Washington Post reported Tuesday on how the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) had determined North Korea is now capable of arming nuclear warheads onto intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). This means North Korea has the capability to hit large portions of the United States with nuclear weapons.
However, Fred Fleitz of the Center for Security Policy wrote in an op-ed for FoxNews.com on Thursday that the Washington Post omitted several details in its report, one of which was that the DIA had actually reached this conclusion in 2013:
During an April 11, 2013, House Armed Services Committee hearing, Congressman Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., inadvertently revealed several unclassified sentences from a DIA report that said DIA had determined with “moderate confidence” that North Korea has the capability to make a nuclear weapon small enough to be launched with a ballistic missile.
Another was how the Obama administration tried to downplay the 2013 report:
The Director of National Intelligence and Obama officials subsequently tried to dismiss Lamborn's disclosure by claiming the DIA assessment was an outlier that did not reflect the views of the rest of the U.S. Intelligence Community. [...]
The DIA report represented inconvenient facts that threatened President Obama's North Korea “strategic patience” policy — a policy to do nothing about North Korea and kick this problem down the road to the next president.
Once more nuclear tests were conducted as years progressed, the Obama administration condemned them. Former President Barack Obama also promised to look at new sanctions to be slapped on the country, according to The Hill.
In its report, the Washington Post noted current estimates of North Korea's nuclear weapons are around 60, while other independent experts think the number is below that.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.