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"Inaccurate" to say DPRK has nuclear-armed missiles: Pentagon


13:45, April 12, 2013

WASHINGTON, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The Pentagon said Thursday that it would be inaccurate to suggest that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has fully demonstrated the capability to launch a nuclear-armed missile.

"While I cannot speak of the details of a report that is classified in its entirety, it would be inaccurate to suggest that the North Korean regime has fully tested, developed, or demonstrated the kinds of nuclear capabilities referenced in the passage," Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement.

Little was commenting on media reports quoting U.S. House Representative Doug Lamborn as telling a House hearing Thursday that the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) believes the DPRK has nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.

"DIA assesses with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles. However, the reliability will be low," Lamborn read from what he said was an unclassified portion of the DIA assessment, which hasn't been released yet.

Neither the White House, nor Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, who attended the hearing with Lamborn, has made any comments on the DIA assessment and Lamborn's statements.

"The United States continues to closely monitor the North Korean nuclear program and calls upon North Korea to honor its international obligations," Little added.

According to a report by DPRK's official KCNA news agency, the country has put in place "means of powerful strike" accurately targeting enemies and just pressing the button would turn enemy strongholds into a sea of fire.

Earlier Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama urged the DPRK to end its "belligerent approach" amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

"We both agree that now is the time for North Korea to end the kind of belligerent approach that they've been taking and to try to lower temperatures. Nobody wants to see a conflict on the Korean Peninsula," Obama told reporters at the White House after meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

"We will continue to try to work to resolve some of those issues diplomatically even, as I indicated to the secretary-general, that the United States will take all necessary steps to protect its people and to meet our obligations under our alliances in the region," Obama said.

The UN chief made similar remarks, urging DPRK's leader Kim Jong Un to do more for the eventual peace and reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

Tensions have been rising on the Korean Peninsula since the DPRK conducted its third nuclear test on Feb. 12 in reaction to joint military drills by Seoul and Washington.

The DPRK has declared "a state of war" with the South and threatened to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against South Korean and U.S. targets.

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