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Pak developing new types of nukes, N Korea the most volatile threat: US

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats' remarks came days after a group of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists struck the Sunjuwan Military Camp in Jammu on Saturday

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Dan Coats, Coats
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats

is developing new types of nuclear weapons, including short-range tactical ones, that bring more risks to the region, America's intelligence chief warned. Dan Coats' remarks came days after a group of Pakistan-based terrorists struck the in Jammu on Saturday, killing seven people including six soldiers. is developing new types of nuclear weapons, including short-range tactical weapons, Coats told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing on worldwide threats organised by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. continues to produce and develop new types of nuclear weapons, including short-range tactical weapons, sea-based cruise missiles, air-launched cruise missiles, and longer-range ballistic missiles, he warned. These new types of will introduce new risks for escalation of dynamics and security in the region, Coats said, reflecting on the risks involved in developing such types of Coats said will be among the most volatile and confrontational (WMD) threats to the US over the next year. North Korea's history of exporting to several countries, including Iran and Syria, and its assistance during Syria's construction of a nuclear reactor -- destroyed in 2007 -- illustrates its willingness to proliferate dangerous technologies. In 2017 North Korea, for the second straight year, conducted a large number of ballistic missile tests, including its first (ICBM) tests. Pyongyang is committed to developing a long-range, nuclear-armed missile that is capable of posing a direct threat to the United States. It also conducted its sixth and highest yield nuclear test to date. We assess that has a longstanding Biological Weapons (BW) capability and biotechnology infrastructure that could support a BW programme.

We also assess that has a Chemical Weapons (CW) programme and probably could employ these agents by modifying conventional munitions or with unconventional, targeted methods, he said. Coats said state efforts to modernise, develop, or acquire WMD, their delivery systems, or their underlying technologies constitute a major threat to the security of the United States, its deployed troops, and its allies. Both state and non-state actors have already demonstrated the use of chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria. Biological and chemical materials and technologies -- almost always dual-use -- move easily in the globalised economy, as do personnel with the scientific expertise to design and use them for legitimate and illegitimate purposes. Information about the latest discoveries in the life sciences also diffuses rapidly around the globe, widening the accessibility of knowledge and tools for beneficial purposes and for potentially nefarious applications.

First Published: Wed, February 14 2018. 08:28 IST
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