WASHINGTON, March 30 (UPI) -- North Korea has taken additional steps in developing a long-range ballistic missile that could target the United States, National Intelligence Director James Clapper said.
Clapper addressed Congress last week with the latest findings on North Korea's advancements in deploying a long-range, intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, known as the KN-08.
The missile, said Clapper, is capable of reaching the United States.
But because of its long range the KN-08 is not capable of attacking South Korea.
Shin In-kyun, a security analyst with the Korea Defense Network, said any deployment of THAAD, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense in South Korea will not be related to North Korea ballistic missile development.
Rather, the THAAD missile defense system tracks objects from 1,180 miles and intercepts missiles at high altitude. Should THAAD be installed, it would be used to defend South Korean territory.
Shin said Clapper was sending a preliminary warning over a possible cut in the defense budget rather than making allusions to the issue of THAAD deployment in South Korea.
South Korea's Chosun Ilbo reported Clapper had said North Korea's heavy focus on the production of weapons of mass destruction is a sign its other warfare capabilities have been undermined.
The KN-08 missile was on parade during a celebration of Kim Il Sung's birthday in 2012, and also in a military march that observed the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in 2013.
The KN-08 is believed to have a range of 7,460 miles.