Washington: North Korea seems to be intent on developing both missile technology and nuclear weapons capability, a top Trump administration official said today, hours after Pyongyang carried out a missile test.
The North Korean missile test came a day after US President Donald Trump said that there is a possibility of a major conflict between the US and North Korea.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was quoted by CNN as saying that it is unlikely that the North Korean missile launch was in reaction to Trump's statement, but it is certainly reflective of the intent of the authoritarian regime.
"They seem to be pretty intent on developing the capability, both missile technology as well as nuclear technology. It is a real concern for anyone that knows about the possibilities of them linking a missile to a weaponised atomic device or nuclear device," Kelly said.
"They have got some pretty good scientists, obviously. But they don't have people like we do and the numbers we have. It's a pretty complicated business. And whether it was destroyed itself on its own or was some other factor, I don't know. But the good news is, it didn't do very well," Kelly said in response to a question.
Kelly said China and others are trying to influence him to stop his actions.
"I think what Trump is doing in my mind is outlining the threat and the very real possibility that the dictator there could have a nuclear weapon in the not too distant future that could be married to an ICBM. I think any President that didn't talk about it in stark terms would not be doing his job," he said.
North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile this morning but it did not leave North Korean territory, the Pentagon has confirmed, terming it as a failed attempt. The missile launch comes amid high tensions in the Korean peninsula.
At UN Security Council yesterday, Washington pushed for tougher sanctions against North Korea, putting pressure on China while warning it was keeping military options "on the table".