"Recent engine testing suggests North Korea may be prepared to flight-test even more capable ICBM design that could enhance Kim's ability to threaten our homeland during a crisis or conflict", he said.
State media reported that North Korea's Red Cross Society had been deployed to "relevant areas" around the country to conduct public education campaigns and to monitor people with possible symptoms.
The United States has expressed deep concern about North Korea's vulnerability to the outbreak of a new virus and says it's ready to support efforts by US and worldwide aid organizations to contain the spread of the illness in the impoverished nation.
The US has kept its sanctions in place, but the country has allowed humanitarian aid workers to visit North Korea.
"They are clearly lying as they don't want to show any weakness or that there is any threat to the regime", Kazianis told the outlet.
North Korea has remained adamant that there have been no cases of coronavirus within its borders, though experts outside the reclusive country - which shares an 880-mile-long border with China - have met that assertion with a healthy dose of skepticism. It has suspended flights and trains to and from China.
A North Korean trade official, who was quarantined after visiting China, was shot dead after he was arrested after secretly visiting a public bath breaking the quarantine law.
But there may yet be hope for the reportedly executed trade official, as news of officials being executed or punished in North Korea has been wrong in the past.
The official had been placed in isolation after travelling to China.
Professor Kelly, from Pusan National University, has warned: "North Korea lacks the doctors, hospitals, reserves of medicine, modern medical devices, and so on to respond adequately and prevent a spiralling spread".
Nagi Shafik, former project manager for the World Health Organization's office in Pyongyang, said North Korean authorities would need supplies such as masks, antivirals and antibiotics. "They would be ill-equipped to deal with any kind of epidemic".