North Korea says it has developed ballistic nuclear warheads

North Korea has developed the technology to fit a nuclear warhead on a missile, leader Kim Yong Un was quoted as saying by state media Wednesday.

The isolated regime has until now not been thought able to make its nuclear bombs small enough to be delivered by missile.

"The nuclear warheads have been standardized to be fit for ballistic missiles by miniaturizing them," Kim was cited as saying by state-run Korean Central News Agency. "This can be called true nuclear deterrent."

The report came two days after Pyongyang threatened a pre-emptive nuclear strike as US and South Korean forces started annual joint military drills in the region. North Korea says the manoeuvres are a rehearsal for invasion.

The government said last year it had made nuclear warheads small enough to fit on a ballistic missile, but experts in South Korea doubted this was accurate. Wednesday's was the first such statement directly from the North's leader.

"It is very gratifying to see the nuclear warheads with the structure of mixed charge adequate for prompt thermo-nuclear reaction," Kim also said.

Foreign observers have expressed doubt that North Korea has the ability to build a thermo-nuclear bomb, which would be more conventional than a standard nuclear bomb.

The UN Security Council last week imposed its strictest sanctions ever on Pyongyang, in response to the test of a nuclear device in January and a long-range rocket test last month.

The North Korean regime fired several short-range rockets off its eastern coast hours after the vote in New York Thursday.

Last update: Wed, 09/03/2016 - 07:49
Author: 

More from World

Sri Lanka drops proposal to decriminalize homosexuality

Sri Lanka has dropped a proposal to decriminalize homosexuality following protests, a senior cabinet minister said...

Suicide car bombing kills 35 at Malian military camp

A suicide car bombing killed an estimated 35 people at a military camp in the northern Malian city of Gao on...

Reports: Former president George HW Bush in hospital in Houston

Former US president George HW Bush has been admitted to hospital in Houston, Texas, news reports said Wednesday.

Sources: Syria regime and opposition pick teams for Astana talks

The Syrian government and opposition have picked their delegations for Russian- and Turkish-sponsored peace talks ...

Low polls, protests plague Trump ahead of divisive inauguration

When Donald Trump places his hand on a Bible once used by Abraham Lincoln to take the presidential oath of office on...