British Prime Minister David Cameron has caused alarm in his country after implying that North Korea has the capability to reach the U.S. and the U.K., possibly even with nukes.
Cameron’s comments come, oddly enough, as he was literally “winched” off a nuclear submarine in front of Glasgow defence contractors.
“The fact is, as I wrote in a newspaper article this morning, North Korea does now have missile technology that is able to reach, as they put it, the whole of the United States and if they’re able to reach the whole of the United States they can reach Europe too. They can reach us too, so that is a real concern,” Cameron told workers in Scotland, The Telegraph reports. “[North Korea] has extremely dangerous technologies in terms of nuclear and its weapons.”
Cameron has been lobbying hard for a multi-billion dollar upgrade to Britain’s expensive and hard to manage Nuclear Trident defence system, and his hints at possible capabilities of North Korea’s long-range nukes come as the most heated exchanges in the Trident debate.
Most analysts believe that North Korea is actually years away from developing nuclear strike capabilities, lacking advanced guidance systems, reentry vehicles, and rocket-capable nuclear warheads.
North Korea’s most recent “low-yield” nuclear test demonstrates they know how to build a bomb, and their most recent rocket test puts their notional range deep enough to hit Alaska and the U.K. However, analysts say the country is a long way from being able to put the two technologies together.
“They are not there on the nuclear end and would have to have many more tests to have enough confidence that they have a reliable mode of delivery,” Jim Walsh, an expert in international security and a research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program, told NPR after the North’s most recent rocket test.
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