China has successfully tested a weapon of mass destruction, capable of destroying London and other European cities in just 30 minutes.
The long-range nuclear ballistic missile, called the Dongfeng-41, is thought to the world’s most powerful to-date and can carry up to 10 warheads over a distance of 7,450 miles – making it capable of destroying several cities at once in just 30 minutes flat.
This would mean Beijing could destroy the whole of London – which is slightly more than 5,000 miles from the Chinese capital – or wipe out any city in the West.
Pentagon sources told the Washington Beacon that the nuke had been detected by American satellites.
The development is likely to make American military chiefs extremely nervous.
Previous reports have indicated the Dongfeng-41 could be operational at some point during 2016.
Mark Stokes, an expert on the Chinese military and ex-Pentagon analyst, said: “China and Russia are increasingly coordinating their military forces against the United States and that China’s program of enabling North Korea and Iran to become nuclear missile powers is nearing completion.”
A number of states near China are now armed with weapons of mass destruction.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un now has nuclear weapons – and could soon be able to target America and Japan.
Kim, 33, was recently pictured standing next to what was thought to be a miniaturised weapon.
Miniaturisation is achieved when the nuclear warhead weighs less than 2,200 lb and the diameter of the bomb measures 35 inches or less.
In state media, Kim was quoted as saying: “We must always be ready to fire our nuclear warheads at any time.”
Now, a South Korean government report has confirmed the miniaturised 660lb nuclear warhead is at his disposal.
The National Assembly Research Service said the warheads could be mounted on missiles.
It is feared North Korea now had between eight and 20 miniaturised warheads.
The claims came as the US senate was warned it is only a matter of time before Kim had long-range missiles capable of hitting America and Japan.
General Vincent Brooks told the Armed Services Committee that Kim was determined to build rockets which could target the US.
He said: “Over time, I believe we’re going to see them acquire these capabilities if they’re not stopped.”
Senator John McCain, who chairs the committee, asked how concerned he was about the “immaturity and unpredictability of the rotund ruler in Pyongyang”.
General Brooks replied: “I’m very concerned about the direction he’s going, and it’s evident that he’s not yet deterred from his pursuit.”
The US has 28,500 troops in South Korea. They have kept a military presence there since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
The two Koreas technically remain at war, as the conflict ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty.
China supported the North in the Korean War but has become increasingly exasperated by the antics of Kim, who came to power after the death of his father Kim Jong-il in 2011.
Pyongyang last week conducted a test of what appeared to be a medium-range missile, but the rocket suffered a catastrophic failure on launch.
Washington and Seoul may deploy the Theater High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD), to protect against ballistic missiles from the North.
South Korea pointed out that it took the US seven years to miniaturise a nuclear warhead in the 1960’s while the Soviet Union took six and China only two years.
North Korea is thought to be planning another nuclear test in the run-up to its Party Congress on May 7. Some experts believe Kim’s missiles have a longer range than previously assessed.
The test this month revealed the KN-08 first stage uses Musudan rather than No Dong engines, along with a more capable fuel.
That means the KN-08 would be able to reach throughout the US, including New York City and Washington, rather than only the Pacific Northwest.