Clapper: North Korea close to deploying road-mobile ICBMs

James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told Congress on Tuesday that North Korea is close to deploying a new road-mobile intercontinental missile that could threaten the United States.

The new weapon, Clapper told the Senate Intelligence Committee, was first shown to the public at a military parade in April in Pyongyang, reports.

"We believe North Korea has already taken initial steps towards fielding this system, although it remains untested," Clapper said, according to

Clapper's announcement of the new missile comes at a time when North Korea has levied threats of nuclear missile attacks against the U.S. and is the first public statement by a senior Obama administration official about a new ICBM that experts are calling a quantum leap in the North Korean missile threat.

In an annual threat assessment briefing, Clapper also said that North Korea successfully launched a satellite into orbit in December with its long-range Taepodong-2 rocket, which accurately illustrated the nation's long-range missile technology.

"These developments have been accompanied with extremely aggressive public rhetoric toward the United States and the Republic of Korea," Clapper said, reports.

Several of the road-mobile missiles, dubbed the KN-08 ICBM, were observed in January by intelligence sensors moving around North Korea. According to a U.S. official, North Korean missile sites are being closely monitored.