A disclosure on Capitol Hill that the Defense Intelligence Agency believes North Korea has developed the know-how to mount nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles made international headlines Thursday, before Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called it into question.
Clapper said in a statement that a passage read out during a House Armed Services Committee by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) “is not an intelligence community assessment.”
“Moreover, North Korea has not yet demonstrated the full range of capabilities necessary for a nuclear armed missile,” he said.
During the hearing earlier, Lamborn read out a sentence from what he said was an unclassified – but not yet made public – portion of a classified DIA report prepared in March: “DIA assesses with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles; however the reliability will be low.”
Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, who was testifying with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on the administration’s FY2014 Defense budget request, declined to say whether he agreed with that assessment.
“I can’t touch that one, because I’m not sure now – it hasn’t been released, some of it’s classified, some of it’s unclassified. Let me take that one for the record.”