North Korea has not yet acquired the technology of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that is capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, a South Korean Defense Ministry official said Wednesday.

In a briefing about the 2016 South Korean Defense White Paper, which was also released Wednesday, the official said South Korea has removed the ministry's previous assessment included in the 2014 white paper that North Korea is believed to possess the capability of threatening the U.S. mainland with its missiles.

"North Korea has not yet completed an ICBM and has not yet reached the stage that can earn credibility," the official said.