North Korea Nuclear Weapons Program Continues in Full Swing – UN Report
According to a confidential United Nations’ report, North Korea is continuing with its nuclear weapons program and several countries believe it has “probably developed miniaturised nuclear devices to fit into the warheads of its ballistic missiles.”
The report, prepared by an independent panel of experts monitoring UN sanctions, said the countries believed that North Korea’s six previous nuclear tests had probably helped the country in developing miniaturised nuclear devices. Pyongyang has not conducted a nuclear test since September 2017.
The report, which has been submitted to the 15-member UN security council North Korea sanctions committee on Monday, does not identify the countries that believe North Korea is pressing on with its nuclear weapons program.
“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is continuing its nuclear program, including the production of highly enriched uranium and construction of an experimental light water reactor. A member state assessed that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is continuing production of nuclear weapons,” the report said.
It is not for the first time that Kim Jong-un’s kingdom has come under the radar for succeeding in miniaturising nuclear warheads. A leaked US intelligence assessment in 2017 claimed that North had developed the technology to produce nuclear warheads small enough to fit inside missiles, theoretically giving it the ability to send nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to distant targets including the US.
Similarly, in 2019, Japan concluded that the regime’s military build-up posed a “real and imminent threat”.
While Kim, last week, assured that there would be no more war as the country’s nuclear weapons program guaranteed its safety and future despite unabated outside pressure and military threats, the report claims otherwise.
The report says that North Korea “may seek to further develop miniaturisation in order to allow incorporation of technological improvements such as penetration aid packages or, potentially, to develop multiple warhead systems”.
Since 2006, North Korea has been subjected to UN sanctions over its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. Despite the sanctions increasing over the time, UN has reported that North continues to violate the sanctions while enhancing its programs.
The US President and North Korean leader have thrice held talks over the nuclear weapons program, but no progress has been made from Pyongyang over ending its nuclear program.
While in May 2018, Pyongyang claimed to have blown up tunnels at its main nuclear test site Punggyeri, however, it did not allow experts to witness or examine the tearing of the site.
One of the countries in the report assessed that North Korea could re-build the infrastructure required for a nuclear test in just three months.
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