Conflict & Justice

What's in North Korea's Military Arsenal?

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The estimated ranges of North Korea's missiles. (Photo: Wiki Commons)

North Korea is continuing its warlike rhetoric.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

It seems Pyongyang is getting ready to test a medium-range missile, perhaps to coincide with the scheduled April 15th holiday there to celebrate the nation's founder, the grandfather of current leader, Kim Jong-un.

Joel Wit, a former US negotiator with North Korea, says North Korea is working on a missile that could reach the United States, but they're not there yet.

"They could hit Guam, Japan and South Korea," he says.

"But look, we're only talking about a test, "Wit says. "There's no reason for them to do anything else."

North Korea probably has enough plutonium for eight nuclear devices, says Wit.

Experts disagree, he says, whether Pyongyang can mount these nuclear weapons on missiles.

Wit expects Kim to "declare victory" after the end of joint US-South Korean military exercises, which continue to the end of the month. Then tensions will probably calm down, Wit argues.

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