The hermit kingdom’s latest test of their strongest ever ICBM – the Hwasong-15 – sparked fears around the world after it was revealed they could strike the UK and the entire mainland US.
However officials much closer to the DPRK’s military might have heaped doubt on Kim Jong-un’s ability to unleash nuclear annihilation on another country – with South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha claiming the North has not yet “demonstrated” the capabilities to arm their long range missiles with nuclear warheads.
As the secretive state makes monumental leaps forward in its development of military hardware, Ms Kang warned the Kim regime that “North Korea will never be accepted as a nuclear power” and only a “peaceful resolution” is acceptable.
Speaking to CNN, she said: “The non acceptance of North Korea as a nuclear power is not just our position and the US position, it’s the position of the whole global community as stated several times in the US security council resolutions.
“Now they have declared after the latest missile launch the completion of their program. But as I said there is no concrete evidence that they have mastered the technology that is required to be able to put a nuclear device on a long range nuclear missile.
“They haven’t demonstrated their reentry capability, they haven’t demonstrated their remote targeting, or the miniaturisation that is required.
“The declarations in their statement is one thing, but if they have really mastered the technology is another thing.
“This all of course requires careful further analysis and we do this with close consultation with our experts in South Korea but also US experts.
“But what the statement actually means and what it attempts to achieve domestically and internationally is still very much something that requires further analysis.”
However the South Korean official admitted the North had made huge military leaps forward “at a a pace that is far faster than many of us had expected”.
She added: “But they have not reached the final completion stage yet – that would be the shared view of all the technical expertise around this program.
“And the whole point of the global unity behind the UN security council sanctions is that the global community has to put pressure and implement sanctions in a concerted way so that it does make a difference for the North Korean regime, that it does force a change of course for the North Korean regime.”
It comes after a former Royal Navy Commander told express.co.uk the UK has no “hard kill” system to strike down a North Korean missile if Kim Jong-un decides to target Britain
Commander Graham Edmonds, Vice Chairman of the UK National Defence Association, warned more investment is necessary to ensure the nation is adequately protected from a missile attack.
Commander Edmonds, who served in the Royal Navy for 41 years, told Express.co.uk the UK does not have a “hard kill system” capable of blowing an incoming ICBM out of the sky as it approaches Britain.
He said: “The UK has signals intelligence and radar systems capable of detecting ballistic and cruise missiles, but no hard kill system that can shoot down ballistic missiles, and the only systems capable of dealing with cruise missiles are on warships.”
The British Government is currently mulling over potential cuts to the defence budget despite growing tensions around the world.
The increasing military power of Russia, along with North Korea’s lunge towards becoming a nuclear state have led to fears the world is teetering on the brink of World War 3.
Cdr Grahams said: “It is worth considering that no UK military force has come under sustained air attack since the Falklands War and some false perceptions persist that this situation will not change in any future operation.
“Russia is revamping its Blackjack bombers – the biggest bomber in the world – and building new airframes of this venerable aircraft. Why?”