06th January, 2015 :
South Korea’s defence ministry has speculated that the North has made progress towards making deliverable nuclear weapons.
In a white paper, the ministry said enough time had passed since the North’s first nuclear test for it to have acquired the technology.
A ministry official, however, told the Yonhap News agency that there was no intelligence to support the assessment.
Meanwhile North Korea’s leader said he was open to talks with the South.
“North Korea’s capabilities of miniaturising nuclear weapons appear to have reached a significant level,” the paper said.
Miniaturising a nuclear device would allow it to be fitted on the tip of a long-range missile which could, in theory, reach South Korea or even the US.
An unnamed defence ministry official told Yonhap: “We don’t have any intelligence that North Korea completed the miniaturisation.”
But the official said acquiring such technology took between two and seven years, and it had been eight years since the North conducted its first nuclear test.
Pyongyang has conducted three nuclear tests with the most recent in February 2013.
Expert opinion is split on how much progress the North’s ballistic missile development programme has made.
Source : BBC