Disarmament official: North Korea may be only months away from ability to strike US with nuke

Disarmament official: North Korea may be only months away from ability to strike US with nuke
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North Korea is just "months away" from being able to strike the United States' mainland with a nuclear weapon, a U.S. envoy said Tuesday.

According to a report by Reuters, U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood told a conference in Geneva that the country has "accelerated" its pursuit of nuclear weapons in recent months.

“North Korea has accelerated its provocative pursuit of nuclear weapons and missile capabilities, and expressed explicit threats to use nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies in the region,” Wood told the forum.

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“North Korean officials insist that they will not give up nuclear weapons, and North Korea may now be only months away from the capability to strike the United States with nuclear-armed ballistic missiles,” he continued.

Wood later told Reuters that he had “no new information to share” when questioned on the basis for his assessment of North Korea's missile technology.

“Russia, China and North Korea are growing their stockpiles, increasing the prominence of nuclear weapons in their security strategies, and — in some cases — pursuing the development of new nuclear capabilities to threaten other peaceful nations,” Wood told Reuters.

“We are not going to stick our head in the sand, we are going to respond to these growing challenges,” he said.

North Korea last year tested a ballistic missile that experts believe is capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, though the country isn't believed to be able to mount a nuclear device on the missile. Experts say North Korea is close, however, to reaching that milestone.

In January, residents of Hawaii were sent into a panic when a false missile alert was sent by the state's Emergency Management Agency that warned a ballistic missile threat was incoming.