Officials from North and South Korea meet to plan landmark leaders' summit

North Korea news- Kim Jong un and Earl Howe

GETTY•PARLIAMENT TVNorth Korea news Earl Howe said North Korea could have missiles ready to hit UK in six months

North Korea is just months away from building nuclear missiles that can reach the United Kingdom - but is more likely to use cyber attacks, a major new report has concluded.

But the report from the Commons' Defence Select Committee added that a strike of that sort is "highly unlikely". Based on the tests, experts said that North Korea could probably get a missile to hit the USA - but still lacked the technology to carry a heavy nuclear warhead that far.

The North's diplomatic outreach comes after an unusually provocative year in which it conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles created to target the US mainland.

MPs began gathering evidence for their report in September, around the time when Pyongyang was celebrating the "perfect success" of its sixth test with a hydrogen bomb.

"Our judgment is that it will probably be six to 18 months before they have an ICBM capability that is capable of reaching the coast of the United States or indeed ourselves", Howe said of his assessment on Jan.23. Earl Howe, a British defence minister told the committee the North would be ready to carry out a nuclear strike in "six to 18 months".

South and North Korea on Thursday had working-level meeting at the border village of Panmunjom for the upcoming inter-Korea summit to discuss protocol, security and press coverage and agreed to hold a second such meeting in coming days.

A separate summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump is expected by the end of May.

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The document called North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un "ruthless" but "rational" and claimed he can be dissuaded from using nuclear weapons through a policy of "deterrence and containment".

However, they warned that despite the recent diplomatic thaw, North Korea is unlikely to abandon its weapon programme.

The multilateral talks were held between 2003 and 2007, during which the United States, South Korea, Japan, North Korea, China and Russian Federation met six times to discuss steps toward North Korea denuclearization.

"The UK has only a limited ballistic missile defence (BMD) capability, however, if North Korea chose to launch a missile at the UK".

The committee, which took evidence from the MoD and the Foreign Office among others, suggests that cyber-attacks originating from North Korea pose a more immediate threat to the UK.

And it warned North Korea might pass on its nuclear know how to other rogue states or terror groups.

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