North Korea is not playing by the good graces of other world powers as its nuclear missiles now reportedly put Russia and China in target range. However, even with such threat, Russia refuses to acknowledge North Korea’s claim to status of nuclear power. Is Pyongyang rubbing the wrong parties?
A South Korean official confirmed last Tuesday that North Korea is capable of mounting a nuclear warhead medium-range missile. The statement was in part of the evaluation done on the country following its fourth nuclear test. It can be noted that in the previous month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claimed that they have miniaturized nuclear warheads ready to be mounted on ballistic missiles. It was the first time that such information was confirmed even with speculations revolving in the media.
“We believe they have accomplished miniaturization of a nuclear warhead to mount it on a Rodong missile,” The Globe and Mail quoted the South Korean official who was familiar to North Korea’s nuclear assessment program.
“We believe they have the ability to mount a nuclear warhead on a Rodong. Whether they will fire it like that is a political decision,” added the official. According to reports, the Rodong missile is capable of firing 1 tonne (1,100 lb) warhead a distance reaching 2,000 km. This will put South Korea, a good part of Japan, China and Russia in range.
However, Russia does not approve of Pyongyang’s claim to the status of a nuclear power including its atomic weapons and delivery means. Nonetheless, Moscow acknowledges North Korea’s right to explore nuclear technology but it does not recognize its claim of nuclear power status.
“We are very concerned about the situation on the Korean Peninsula and we consider it necessary to make all possible efforts to prevent the unwinding of a negative spiral, when actions by one side lead to additional counter-action by another side, making it a ‘vicious circle,” Sputnik quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“We, as well as China, reject North Korea’s nuclear-missile ambitions,” added the official.