The Vice Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff says North Korea has developed a small number of nuclear weapons.
Speaking at a virtual symposium hosted by the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction of the U.S. National Defense University on Thursday, General John Hyten, did not provide specific numbers.
While they may be small in number, he stressed these nuclear weapons can pose a threat to neighboring countries as well as the U.S., stressing the need for strategic deterrence.
This, he said is where defense of the U.S. homeland begins.
The vice chairman elaborated that Washington's defense does not begin with missile defense capabilities, which he said is capable of defending the country against any threats posed by the regime.
Hyten also explained that the U.S. continues to enhance its deterrence capabilities, pointing out that B-21 and B-52 bombers will substitute the B-2 bombers while its Ohio-class submarines will be replaced by Columbia-class submarines that are armed with nuclear weapons.
While experts remain split on the exact number of Pyeongyang's nuclear weapons, the latest related report released by the Pentagon states the regime has 20 to 60 nuclear bombs, with the capacity to produce six new warheads a year.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.