WASHINGTON: Pakistan is developing new types of nuclear weapons, including short-range tactical ones, that bring more risks to the region, America's intelligence chief warned on Tuesday.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats remarks came while briefing the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Pakistan 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.
Pakistan continues to produce nuclear weapons and develop new types of nukes, including short-range tactical weapons, sea-based cruise missiles, air-launched cruise missiles, and longer-range ballistic missiles, he warned.
These weapons 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 nuclear weapons.
Coats also warned that Pakistan-supported terrorist groups would continue to carry out attacks inside Afghanistan thus risking escalation of tension between the two neighbours.
"Militant groups supported by Islamabad will continue to take advantage of their safe haven in Pakistan to plan and conduct attacks in Afghanistan, including against US interests," Coats said during the hearing on 'Worldwide Threat Assessment' of the US intelligence community.
Coats said North Korea will be among the most volatile and confrontational weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threats to the US over the next year.
North Korea's history of exporting ballistic missile technology 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 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (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.