Nuclear weapon experts have questioned the validity of North Korea’s claims they’ve developed a missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.
Last week the world seemed to be on the brink of nuclear war as President Donald Trump threatened to unleash ‘fire and fury’ on the Korean peninsular and North Korea threatened Guam with a nuclear strike.
Despite the ‘colourful’ rhetoric, it appears the West may not have to worry about North Korea’s nuclear capability with top scientists doubting they could carry out their threats.
In a study published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, called North Korea’s ‘Not Quite’ ICBM Can’t Hit the Lower 48 States, rocket experts Ted Postol, Markus Schiller and Robert Schmucker cast doubt on North Korea’s alleged new weapon.
Calculations we have made indicate that these rockets actually carried very small payloads that were nowhere near the weight of a nuclear warhead of the type North Korea could have, or could eventually have.
These small payloads allowed the rockets to be lofted to far higher altitudes than they would have if loaded with a much-heavier warhead, creating the impression that North Korea was on the cusp of achieving ICBM capability.US Navy News Service
They went on to add that North Korea was most likely pleased with the perception that they had intercontinental ballistic missiles as it made them more of a threat globally.
It’s not all good news though as the experts predict that North Korea will eventually develop the capability to deliver ‘sufficient payloads’ to the U.S. but that was probably years away.
U.S. intelligence officers however dispute the claims and believe that Kim’s scientists can miniaturise nuclear warheads for his missiles.