It's almost official: North Korea likely does have miniaturized nuclear weapons, perfectly-sized to mount on long-range missiles. Intelligence officials speaking to CNN indicated the communist dictatorship "probably" has such a weapon and CNN reported that "concern" about Kim Jong Un's capacity to mount a truly credible nuclear threat has intensified among intelligence analysts:
"He is determined to prove his doubters wrong," one U.S. official told CNN, even as uncertainty remains about how much progress he has actually made in his quest for nuclear missiles.
Recent photos showing Kim standing next to what the North Koreans claim is a miniaturized nuclear device are still being scrutinized by U.S. analysts for any indication of progress, officials said, declining to provide additional specifics.
CNN reported that higher-ups in U.S. defense have simply assumed Kim Jong Un's threats regarding nuclear armament are the real deal in order to create appropriate battle plans should the United States ever need to engage the Hermit Kingdom.
Publicly, however, defense officials have worked to downplay the threat from North Korea, telling CNN that taking it for granted North Korea is a nuclear state doesn't "mean that they have that capability. They've not demonstrated" they can threaten the U.S. homeland.
It seems clear that as easy as it is to parody North Korea's bluster and comically overheated anti-western rhetoric, military commanders are beginning to believe Kim Jong Un's posturing just isn't that funny anymore.