Report: US assesses NKorea can fit nuke inside a missile

FILE - This file photo distributed by the North Korean government shows what was said to be the launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile, ICBM, in North Korea's northwest, Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this photo. The strongest U.N. sanctions in a generation may still prove no match for North Korea’s relentless nuclear weapons ambitions. Even in diplomatic triumph, the Trump administration is gambling that it has enough time to test if economic pressure can get Kim Jong Un’s totalitarian government to end its missile advances and atomic weapons tests (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Post is reporting that U.S. intelligence officials assess that North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.

That would mean North Korea has passed a crucial threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power.

The Post story, citing unnamed U.S. intelligence officials, said the confidential analysis was completed last month by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.

Officials at the agency would not comment Tuesday. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence could not immediately be reached for comment.

Separately, Japan’s defense ministry assessed in a report Tuesday that it is possible that North Korea has achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons and has developed nuclear warheads.

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