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Analyst: North Korea could test hydrogen bomb in the Pacific

By Elizabeth Shim
Analyst: North Korea could test hydrogen bomb in the Pacific
A screen shot from North Korea's state television channel shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a "nuclear" warhead near Pyongyang, North Korea on September 3. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. experts believe North Korea could conduct a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Ocean, following remarks from Pyongyang last week of its capabilities.

Sue Mi Terry, a former CIA analyst, said Wednesday the Kim Jong Un regime has the capacity to carry out a nuclear test beyond its borders, as it continues to pursue weapons proliferation despite condemnations from the international community, Voice of America reported.

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Terry and other analysts were speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

Terry, who met with North Korean officials in May for informal talks, said it would be difficult to get North Korea to agree to denuclearize, or give up its nuclear weapons.

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North Korea has invested too much in nuclear development to turn back the clock and agree to go with demands for denuclearization. The country has frankly stated a willingness to use the weapons if the regime perceives threats, Terry said, according to VOA.

The analysis comes at a time when the Pentagon is preparing to build up its missile defense program, Defense News reported Thursday.

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The U.S. military is requesting $416 million in funds, some of it unspent Army and Army Reserve operation funds, be allocated to increasing the number of ground-based interceptors and missile-launch facilities, or silos.

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Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the army has looked at radar systems, including THAAD and Patriot systems.

President Donald Trump said in August the administration would increase its budget by "many billions of dollars because of North Korea, and other reasons."

"We are going to be increasing the anti-missiles by a substantial amount of billions of dollars," Trump had said.

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