North Korea has had enough time to develop miniature nuclear arms, according to the South Korean Defense Ministry.

Such miniature nukes could be strapped to rockets and launched into South Korean territory, causing widespread destruction and possibly provoking an armed conflict between the two Koreas and their respective allies.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin also told Korean Arirang TV that North Korea was building a second, more sophisticated long-range missile launch site.

The ministry provided no conclusive evidence to corroborate the existence of light nukes, but threats from the North have Seoul in an escalating panic.

The growing tension is in part the result of a South Korean campaign to drop campaign leaflets into North Korean territory encouraging North Koreans to revolt against Kim Jong-il's regime, in the style of the mass movements sweeping the Middle East.

The South Korean government has been launching balloons filled with the pamphlets into North Korean territories for decades.

Also, nine North Koreans defected by boat to South Korea, braving the Yellow Sea frontier on a paddleboat last weekend, South Korean officials announced today.