United Nations chief says sanctions key to denuclearise North Korea

Ja Song Na

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has declared that his country's nuclear weapons development is aimed exclusively at "defending the sovereignty of the nation from the USA nuclear threat and protecting the peaceful life of the people".

However, various experts and USA officials have been divided over the ICBM's capability, with some claiming data from November 29 launch could support the dictator's warmongering declaration.

On Friday, Mattis said analysis of the most recent North Korean test launch, the one that led many to conclude they could reach anywhere in the mainland United States, was not "shown to be a capable threat against us right now".

According to the Associated Press, when asked by a reporter whether the November 29th test indicated a full capability to strike the United States, Mattis said that it has "not yet shown to be a capable threat against the USA right now".

"We're still doing the forensics analysis", he said.

But experts and USA officials have said questions remain about whether it has a re-entry vehicle capable of protecting a nuclear warhead as it speeds toward its target and about the accuracy of its guidance systems.

"The primary point was to talk about North Korea, because we would love to have his help on North Korea".

In an interview Friday, the highest-ranking US naval officer stressed that the Pentagon remained serious about having military options on North Korea ready as a plan B, while Washington remained focused on diplomacy.

He added though that officials were continuing to analyze the situation.

"In light of this, as we host a ministerial meeting of the UN Security Council on December 15, we have decided on the asset freeze in order to further increase pressure" on the reclusive state. Past reports, however, questioned North Korea's capacity to steer such weapons accurately at long range.



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