Thursday, 17 October, 2019

N. Korea Increased Nuclear Weapons Fuel Production

N. Korea Increased Nuclear Weapons Fuel Production N. Korea Increased Nuclear Weapons Fuel Production
Patty Aguilar | 03 July, 2018, 01:29

U.S. intelligence agencies believe that North Korea is ramping up production of enriched uranium for nuclear weapons, despite recent statements by Pyongyang on "abiding, steady and firm commitment" to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The intelligence assessment, which has not previously been reported, seems to counter the sentiments expressed by President Donald Trump, who tweeted after his historic June 12 summit with Kim that "there was no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea".

But the intelligence analysts told NBC that North Korea has been increasing production of enriched uranium.

In May, Pyongyang also invited foreign journalists to witness the official dismantling of its only nuclear site Pungyye-ri but even that has not convinced experts about the former's intention.

Mr Kim's rare visit to the remote northern region spawns speculation that North Korea may seek to strengthen its economic cooperation with China amid their thawing ties.

The latest intelligence assessment reportedly asserts USA agencies have detected at least two secret nuclear sites in North Korea, in addition to Yongbyon, its main uranium enrichment plant.

The report about North Korean nuclear activity comes a week after U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis suspended the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises as well as two other war game operations with South Korean armed forces that were scheduled to take place over the next three months.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week he would likely go back to North Korea before long to try to flesh out commitments made at the Trump-Kim meeting.

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Kim and Trump both signed a document on June 12 stating that Pyongyang would work toward "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Four other USA officials said the Hermit Kingdom was purposely trying to mislead the U.S. State Department officials though insisted that the US-India relationship is a "major priority for this administration" and "India's central role in US national security is enshrined in the President's National Security Strategy".

"Work is ongoing to deceive us on the number of facilities, the number of weapons, the number of missiles", one official told the network.

Pompeo told reporters the day after the Singapore summit Washington hoped to achieve "major disarmament" by North Korea within Trump's current term, which ends on January 20, 2021. "We are watching closely", - said the representative of USA intelligence.

"This assessment says there is more than one secret site".

Vipin Narang, a North Korea expert and professor of global relations at MIT, said Friday that the revelations appeared to be a sign the USA intelligence community remains concerned that in declaring victory, the Trump administration was getting far ahead of itself.

38 North notes that North Korean nuclear officials are expected to proceed with "business as usual" until Kim orders official changes to procedure.

Pompeo will visit Pyongyang next week for talks with the North over denuclearization, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

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