The Defense Intelligence Agency says that North Korea likely has nuclear weapons small enough to mount on a ballistic missile.
During a Thursday hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., quoted from a report that said: "DIA assesses with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles. However, the reliability will be low."
Lamborn asked Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey if he agreed with the statement, ABC News reports, but Dempsey admitted that he hadn't seen the report, the "Dynamic Threat Assessment 8099: North Korea Nuclear Weapons Program (March 2013)."
A government source told ABC News the section of the report quoted by Lamborn may have accidentally been labelled unclassified.
National Intelligence Director James Clapper de-emphasized the potentially alarming revelation, saying, "I concur with the earlier Department of Defense statement that 'it would be inaccurate to suggest that the North Korean regime has fully developed and tested the kinds of nuclear weapons referenced in the passage.'"
Secretary of State John Kerry is currently visiting South Korea. "The rhetoric we are hearing from North Korea is simply unacceptable by any standard," Kerry said on Friday, Reuters reports. "We are all united in the fact that North Korea will not be accepted as a nuclear power."
"Kim Jong Un needs to understand, as I think he probably does, what the outcome of a conflict would be," Kerry said, according to NBC News. The secretary of state said that it would be a "huge mistake" for the totalitarian country to test launch a medium range missile, which has appeared likely as equipment is moved to the country's east coast.
North Korea conducted its first nuclear weapon test in October 2006 and has conducted two subsequent tests, one in May 2009 and another in February 2013.