N.Korea lacks missile tech to carry nukes

Feb. 15, 2005 at 6:12 AM
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SEOUL, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- North Korea lacks the technology to load nuclear warheads on missiles, despite its claim of nuclear weapons possession, South Korean officials said Tuesday.

The communist state can manufacture one or two nuclear bombs, but still lacks the technology to load nuclear warheads on missiles, the National Intelligence Service told the National Assembly's intelligence committee.

The North, however, is believed to have enough technology and equipment to carry nuclear bombs on board an aircraft, it said.

The NIS also said it believes the North's revelation of a nuclear arsenal is aimed at gaining leverage over the United States in future dialogue over its nuclear development program.

Last week, North Korea declared publicly for the first time that it possessed nuclear weapons and said it would refuse to return to the stalled six-nation talks on its nuclear programs because of hostile U.S. policies.

The Seoul government remains doubtful about the North's claim, saying the declaration does not necessarily mean it has a tested nuclear weapons system that can be deployed.

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