Published: Sat, April 07, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

North Korea workers returning to China, sources say

North Korea workers returning to China, sources say

The British Ministry of Defence believes North Korea will be capable of launching a nuclear strike as early as this summer and will have intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that can reach British soil.

Also, they have all been disconnected, along with inter-Korean dialogue that came to naught while the countries' relationship hit their lowest ebb amid the North's military provocations followed by ever increasing sanctions and retaliations by the South and its allies over the past few years.

The report, entitled Rash or Rational?: North Korea and The Threat It Poses, argues that the country has significantly stepped up its nuclear testing over the past 24 months.

"There should be no room for doubt about China's willingness to carry out our worldwide duties as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council", Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang said in late March.

MPs began gathering evidence for their report in September, around the time when Pyongyang was celebrating the "perfect success" of its sixth test with a hydrogen bomb.

"Our judgment is that it will probably be six to eighteen months before they have an ICBM capability that is capable of reaching the coast of the United States or indeed ourselves".

The meeting of working-level officials at the border village of Panmunjom was to discuss security, protocol and media coverage issues for the April 27 summit. A face-to-face meeting between North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump is provisionally scheduled to take place before the end of May.

Any use of such long-range weapons would lead to "devastating military consequences", the report said.

Despite the doomsday scenario, the Defence Committee claimed the crack pot dictator was still rational and could be reasoned with. "He is therefore unlikely to give them up now".

"The UK has only a limited ballistic missile defence (BMD) capability, however, if North Korea made a decision to launch a missile at the UK".

The select committee report also covers the cyber threat posed by North Korea - which was blamed for the WannaCry ransomware attack which struck computers at NHS trusts a year ago.

The United States, China and South Korea are now pursuing three different North Korea strategies.

"With North Korea unconcerned by who gets hurt when it lashes out, the United Kingdom will continue to be at risk from North Korean cyber-attacks".

And it warned North Korea might pass on its nuclear know how to other rogue states or terror groups.

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