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North Korea on 'inevitable' pathway to nuclear ICBM if left unchecked, says DIA chief

24 May 2017

The director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Marine Corps Lieutenant General Vincent R Stewart, has warned that if North Korea is left on its current trajectory, the northeast Asian country will succeed in obtaining an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of posing a direct threat to the US mainland.

Speaking before the US Senate Armed Services Committee on 23 May about global military threats facing the US, the head of the DIA emphasised that North Korea remains "a critical security challenge" for the United States.

"Pyongyang is committed to developing a long-range, nuclear-armed missile that is capable of posing a direct threat to the US, as demonstrated by two probable nuclear tests and an unprecedented level of ballistic missile launches in 2016," he said, pointing out that the regime is also continuing efforts to expand its stockpile of weapons-grade fissile material.

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