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Military closely monitoring N. Korea amid U.N. report on miniaturized nuclear devices

Defense 11:24 August 04, 2020

SEOUL, Aug. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is closely monitoring North Korea's nuclear and missile activities, the defense ministry said Tuesday, following a media report that Pyongyang appears to have developed miniaturized nuclear devices.

Citing a confidential United Nations report, Reuters reported that several countries believe that the North has "probably developed miniaturized nuclear devices to fit into the warheads of its ballistic missiles."

Asked to comment on the report, deputy ministry spokesperson Col. Moon Hong-sik said South Korea sees North Korea's technology to miniaturize a nuclear warhead to have reached a "considerable" level, an assessment also noted in the country's 2018 biennial defense white paper.

"Our military is closely monitoring North Korea's nuclear and missile activities, and South Korea and the United States are maintaining a close cooperation system," Moon said during a regular press briefing.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said last week that the North will "never stop honing the most powerful national defense capacity," marking the 67th anniversary of the signing of the armistice of the 1950-53 Korean War.

"Thanks to our reliable and effective self-defense war deterrence, there will no longer be war on this land and our national security and future will be firmly guaranteed permanently," Kim said during a national conference of veterans, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves at a national conference of veterans at the April 25 Cultural Palace in Pyongyang on July 27, 2020, in this photo captured from Korean Central Television footage on July 28. The gathering marked the 67th anniversary of the Korean War armistice that fell on the same day. The North calls the 1950-53 conflict the "Fatherland Liberation War" and designated the armistice signing date as Victory Day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

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