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‘N. Korea could produce new nuclear weapons,’ says U.S. officials

‘N. Korea could produce new nuclear weapons,’ says U.S. officials

Posted September. 12, 2018 07:55,   

Updated September. 12, 2018 07:55

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While North Korea and the United States are seemingly in close consultation to discuss another summit between their leaders, reports have suggested that North Korea is still making nuclear weapons.

NBC News published a report Monday (local time) titled “Forget Trump’s friendly tweets. His team is cracking down on North Korea,” and quoted three current and former senior U.S. officials as saying that “U.S. intelligence assesses North Korea could produce five to eight new nuclear weapons in 2018.” The newspaper also said that “The newest intelligence shows Kim’s regime has escalated efforts to conceal its nuclear activity. During the three months since the historic Singapore summit, North Korea has built structures to obscure the entrance to at least one warhead storage facility. The U.S. has also observed North Korean workers moving warheads out of the facility.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also “deeply skeptical that the effort would work,” according to the report. It said that Pompeo, as former CIA director, went into talks with the North and “the process has since only solidified his belief that it won’t.”

Following the news report, the U.S. State Department said that Washington takes North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at his word that he intends to denuclearize, and if that is found not to be the case, the United States will respond immediately.

Meanwhile, Voice of America (VOA) also reported Monday that recent satellite images show that the test site for submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) located in the port of Sinpo, North Korea, has not been dismantled since the Trump-Kim meeting. It also said that the dismantling of key facilities at its missile launch site used for the Musudan missiles seems to have been suspended while “no progress has been made in the dismantlement of Sohae missile-related facilities.”


Jeong-Hun Park sunshade@donga.com