Tension over North Korea's nuclear capability rose to new heights after the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution over the weekend to expand sanctions aimed at cutting North Korea's ability to fund its nuclear weapons programme.
The DIA 's latest assessment comes against a backdrop of growing worldwide concern regarding North Korea's nuclear and missile testing.
As NPR's Merrit Kennedy reported Monday, North Korea reacted angrily to the sanctions, saying it would "balance the U.S.'s felonious crime" with "something thousands of times worse".
In the wake of a report that North Korea now has nuclear warheads small enough to fit inside a long-range ballistic missile, President Donald Trump took a moment to try to de-escalate the situation while reassuring the American people that he is firmly in control.
"After many years of failure, countries are coming together to finally address the dangers posed by North Korea", he tweeted Tuesday morning.
If enforced, the measures could lop an estimated $1 billion annually off North Korea's meager export revenue of US$3 billion. "Neither shall we flinch even an inch from the road to bolstering up the nuclear forces chosen by ourselves unless the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the USA against the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] are fundamentally eliminated".
"We strongly urge the United States to immediately correct its relevant wrong moves to avoid affecting bilateral cooperation on the relevant issue", he said in June. In recent months, North Korea has conducted a series of missile tests that have incensed the White House.
China, Pyongyang's biggest supporter, on Sunday urged North Korea to halt its testing.
It also points to more evidence that North Korea isn't listening to the diplomatic threats from the West. It's frighteningly relevant now, as Trump levels threats against North Korea.
Kazianis said it still is not clear whether North Korea has developed heat shield technology required to allow a missile to leave and re-enter the atmosphere.
The frightening claims were made in the Washington Post, citing a confidential assessment by the US Defense Intelligence Agency.
Trump, who receives daily intelligence briefings, would presumably be in a position to know whether USA intelligence officials have reason to believe Kim Jong Un's regime in fact did load cruise missiles onto a patrol boat recently.