North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un has called for his country to step up production of "ultra-big nuclear warheads" and wants them to be capable to strike targets 15,000km away, it has been reported.
If made, the missiles would be capable of targeting the US capital of Washington DC if fired from the North Korea capital of Pyongyang.
The leader of the hermit nation also wants to amass "smaller, lighter nuclear bombs" according to Sung-Yoon Lee, a Korea watcher at Tufts University in Massachusetts.
He added that Jong-un wants to advance the country's capabilities in "accurate preemptive nuclear strike and second-strike capabilities on targets 15,000km away".
Washington DC is just over 11,000km away from Pyongyang, putting it within the potential nuclear warheads' strike radius.
In a tweet, Mr Lee wrote: "Kim Jong-un calls for production of 'smaller, lighter nuclear bombs...more ultra-big nuclear warheads' and 'advancing capabilities in accurate preemptive nuclear strike & second-strike capabilities on targets 15,000km away.'"
NK News reprts that Kim also said the US' "hostile" policy towards North Korea "worsened" despite North Kora's "goodwill efforts and maximum patience".
The country also reportedly has plans to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles that can be launched from sea and land and has plans to acquire a nuclear submarine and "nuclear strategic weapons" that will contribute to increasing "long-range nuclear strike capability".
It also says that the supreme leader has vowed to strengthen defense capabilities "non-stop" to deter US military threats.
He also wants to improve the "accuracy rate" to strike and annihilate "strategic targets within 15,000 km" shooting range, according to the report.
Donald Trump became the first ever US President to visit the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea in June 2019 to meet with Kim Jong-un.
At the time, Kim said it was "an expression of his willingness" to work towards a new future.
But it has recently been reported that Kim Jong-un could carry out nuclear test to coincide with Joe Biden's inauguration – which is due to take place on January 20.
Sputnik News quoted former US Department of State official Evans Revere warning: “It is possible Pyongyang will conduct a nuclear or long-range missile test before the inauguration or shortly thereafter.”
He went on to suggest the nuclear test could be "a way of laying down a marker with the new president and increasing its negotiating leverage with Washington".
Thousands of people in North Korea gathered in the country’s capital of Pyongyang at the end of last month to prepare for a performance for Kim Jong-un.
Recent satellite photographs of North Korea’s primary nuclear facility also appear to show a mysterious smoke billowing out of one of the plant’s buildings.
The plant had been under repair but on October 27, 2020, satellite photos appeared to show "vapours or smoke coming from the top of a building," think tank 38 North has claimed.
Photos taken by Maxar Technologies satellites have led analysts to believe the building is a furnace used to produce uranium dioxide.
Uranium dioxide is a material that "can be used for power plant fuel or further enriched for use in nuclear weapons or to simply create more efficient fuel."