NKorea Nuclear, Missile Programs Making Progress
A senior U.S. intelligence official and a report by a Washington-based research institute are warning of advances in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Wednesday Pyongyang has expanded the size of its Yongbyon uranium enrichment facility and restarted a reactor used for plutonium production.
The statement appeared to confirm recent reports suggesting North Korea is making good on its promise to "adjust and alter" its nuclear facilities following its third nuclear test last year.
In his written testimony to a Senate committee, Clapper also said the North's nuclear weapons and missile programs "pose a serious threat" to the U.S. and Asia, noting that Pyongyang is committed to developing a missile that can strike the U.S. mainland.
Clapper said that the North has publicly displayed its road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles, known as the KN-98, but stressed that the system remains untested.
In a separate report Wednesday, the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said North Korea appears to be expanding its main launch site to accommodate larger missiles that could hit the U.S.
Teen Pop Star Battles Charges in Canada, U.S.
Teen pop singer Justin Bieber was charged Wednesday with assault for allegedly hitting a limousine driver in Toronto, adding to a string of legal troubles for the young star.
The 19-year-old Canada native turned himself in at a Toronto police station Wednesday as crowds of photographers and fans surged around him and his security team despite frigid temperatures.
Bieber's attorney later told reporters his client will plead innocent when he appears in a Toronto courtroom March 10.
The charges stem from an incident December 30, in which a limousine driver picked up Bieber and five other people at a Toronto nightclub. The driver later got out of the vehicle and called police after allegedly being hit in the head several times.
Also Wednesday, Bieber pleaded not guilty to charges in the U.S. state of Florida of driving under the influence ((of alcohol and prescription drugs)), resisting arrest, and driving with an expired license. Bieber was arrested earlier this month after police caught him drag racing on a residential street in Miami, Florida.
Police said he cursed at officers at the time of his arrest, and that he later admitted to drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and taking prescription drugs.