NORTH Korea has built miniature nukes which can be loaded into ballistic missiles capable of striking the US, a UN report reveals.
Investigators also discovered the rogue state is continuing to boost its controversial nuclear arsenal while dodging international sanctions.
The report, by experts appointed by the Security Council, said Kim Jong-un’s regime is still finding ways of obtaining banned items.
It highlights the failure of sanctions aimed at pressuring Kim into giving up his weapons of mass destruction, reports The Times.
The report also confirms North Korea is making crucial advances in both missile and nuclear technology.
The news comes just a fortnight after the Sun Online told how Kim is to unveil a terrifying new Doomsday nuke which can flatten cities anywhere in America.
Analysts at the International Institute for Strategic Studies believe the Hwasong-15 rocket can deliver a 1,000-kilogram payload an estimated 8,000 miles.
North Korean state media has described it as a “new-type of inter-continental ballistic rocket weaponry system capable of carrying super-heavy nuclear warhead and attacking the whole mainland of the US”.
The UN report states: “Since the beginning of 2020, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [the country’s official name] has continued to develop its ballistic missile programme at an intense pace.
“It has probably developed miniaturised nuclear devices to fit into the warheads of its ballistic missiles.
“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has continued to violate Security Council resolutions through the illicit import of refined petroleum products through ship-to-ship transfers and direct deliveries [and] through illicit maritime exports of coal.”
The UN experts also reported North Korea was still enriching uranium, one of the key ingredients of nuclear bombs.
It reports observations of the underground nuclear test site at Punggye-ri, which was supposed to have been demolished in 2018, suggesting only its entrances have been destroyed.
“Two to three months would be sufficient to reconstitute one of the tunnels, reinstall the infrastructure required to support a test and emplace a test device,” the report says.
North Korea has been subjected to UN sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions and the Security Council has steadily strengthened sanctions in a bid to cut off funding for those programmes.
On Tuesday, its UN ambassador Kim Song said it has a “reliable and effective war deterrent for self-defence” and will now focus on developing its economy.
Already weighed down by the sanctions, Pyongyang is also facing significant economic damage from strict border closures and other measures aimed at preventing a coronavirus outbreak.
“Based on its reliable guarantee for safeguarding the security of the state and people, the DPRK is now directing all its efforts to economic construction,” said Kim.
“It is a matter of fact that we badly need an external environment favourable for economic construction,” he said.
“But, we cannot sell off our dignity just in a hope for brilliant transformation the dignity which we have defended as valuable as our own life. This is our steadfast position.”
He said North Korea was still being threatened by military hardware like stealth fighters being used on the Korean Peninsula and “nuclear strike means of all kinds are directly aimed at the DPRK.”
“Genuine peace can only be safeguarded when one possesses the absolute strength to prevent war itself,” Kim said.
“As we have obtained the reliable and effective war deterrent for self-defence by tightening our belts, peace and security of the Korean peninsula and the region are now firmly defended.”
Recent satellite photos from the country’s main parade training ground show lnewly-erected structures, big enough to conceal Kim’s largest missiles.
The Hwasong- 15 ICBM is – at just over 16 metres – a good two metres longer than Kim’s “old favourite” the Hwasong-14.
And with a width of two metres it is also also thicker – enabling it to carry much more fuel.