The U.S. Department of Defense Intelligence Agency has released an in-depth analysis on North Korea's military power, including its nuclear weapons and missiles.
In its report on Friday, the intelligence agency said that it's unlikely that Pyeongyang will give up all of its weapons of mass destruction, adding that North Korean leaders view nuclear arms as critical to the regime's survival.
It also warned that Pyeongyang may resume long-range ballistic missile tests next year as it will probably focus on training and improving its missile forces.
This includes, improving its solid fueled ballistic missiles, which can be prepared for launch faster than missiles using liquid fuel.
The Defense Intelligence Agency believes that the ultimate goal of North Korea is integrating a nuclear weapon with a ballistic missile and enabling that nuclear-armed missile to operate "reliably."
However, the specific basis for the report's assumptions has not been clearly disclosed.
Meanwhile, Joseph DeTrani the former special envoy for negotiations with Pyeongyang also commented on North Korea's nuclear weapons.
He said there is "appropriate" concern that other nation-states will try to acquire nuclear weapons mainly for deterrence purposes.
If North Korea is permitted to retain its nuclear weapons, South Korea, Japan and others in the region may decide to own them as well, despite U.S. nuclear deterrence commitments.
DeTrani stressed that if the world wants to ensure that other countries do not pursue their own nuclear weapons programs, two conditions must be met Ensuring that Iran doesn't acquire a nuclear weapon and that North Korea denuclearizes completely and verifiably.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.