Kim Jong Un urged to increase the production of materials for nuclear weapons

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called on his nuclear scientists to increase production of material for making weapons and expanding nuclear arsenal. AP reports.

A message in the state media of the DPRK on Tuesday, March 28, appeared after a series of rocket launches (seven launches this month alone) and increased threats from North Korea to use these weapons against their enemies, amid joint U.S.-South Korean exercises, highlighting rising tensions in the region.

Officials say North Korea could raise the stakes further in the coming weeks or months with a more provocative display of its nuclear program, possibly including the first nuclear test since September 2017.

North Korean state media reported that Kim, during a meeting on Monday, March 27, with officials and scientists at the state nuclear weapons institute, noted the need to increase the production of nuclear fuel in order to achieve his goals of expanding the nuclear arsenal “exponentially” and set vague “important tasks » for the nuclear industry.

He also got acquainted with the country’s plans for nuclear counterattacks, when scientists told him about the latest nuclear weapons systems and advances in technology for installing nuclear warheads for missiles.

After six nuclear tests since 2006, North Korea appears to have dozens of warheads that could likely be fitted to some of its older systems. But there are differing estimates of how far North Korea has come in miniaturizing and designing these warheads so that they can be fitted to the various new weapons it has been developing at a rapid pace in recent years, possibly requiring further technological upgrades or nuclear testing.

South Korea estimates that the DPRK may have 70 kg of weapons-grade plutonium, which some analysts say is enough to build about 9-18 bombs. The document notes that North Korea has a significant amount of highly enriched uranium.

North Korea’s main nuclear facility at Yongbyon has the capacity to produce both plutonium and highly enriched uranium, the two main nuclear fuels used to build nuclear weapons. North Korea is believed to operate at least one other clandestine uranium enrichment facility in addition to the one at Yongbyon.

Read also: US intelligence agency assesses North Korea’s ability to conduct new nuclear tests

It was previously reported that North Korea may test lower, longer trajectories of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), as well as a seventh nuclear test already this year to improve their armed capabilities. This was stated by the legislators of South Korea, referring to intelligence officials.


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