North Korea – if left unchecked – is on an “inevitable” path to obtaining a nuclear-armed missile capable of striking the United States, a senior US defence official says.

The remarks by Defence Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant-General Vincent Stewart at a Senate hearing on Tuesday are the latest indication of mounting US concern over Pyongyang’s advancing missile and nuclear weapons programmes, which the North says are needed for self-defence.

US lawmakers pressed Stewart and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to estimate how far away North Korea was from obtaining an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could reach the United States. Continue Reading.