North Korea could nuke US, Europe 'within months', warns France
Paris, September 1: North Korea could have the capacity to deliver a nuclear strike on the United States and even Europe "within months", warned France's foreign minister on Friday.
Jean-Yves Le Drian called the situation following a string of missile tests by Pyongyang "extremely serious" and urged the reclusive state to turn to dialogue to ease spiralling tensions.
"We see a North Korea whose objective is to have missiles capable of transporting a nuclear weapon tomorrow," Le Drian told RTL radio. "In a few months, that will be a reality.
At that moment, when it has the capability to hit the US, even Europe and at the very least Japan and China, with a nuclear weapon, the situation will be explosive."
Early on Tuesday, North Korea fired an intermediate-range Hwasong-12 over Japan, prompting US President Donald Trump to say that "all options" were on the table in an implied threat of pre-emptive military action.
The UN Security Council denounced Pyongyang's latest missile test, unanimously demanding a halt to its programme. Le Drian called on Pyongyang to "return to the path of negotiations" in a bid to ease tensions.
A joint mediation effort put forward by China and Russia would involve a mutual pause in both missile tests by North Korea as well as the joint South Korean-US military exercises by Seoul.
In July, Pyongyang carried out its first two successful tests of an intercontinental-range missile, apparently bringing much of the US mainland into range. Pyongyang has also threatened to fire rockets towards the US Pacific territory of Guam.