Bloomberg reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said at the beginning of the year that Pyongyang had taken measures to stop manufacturing nuclear weapons last year. However, satellite image analysis and US leaks show that North Korea has not only continued to manufacture nuclear weapons, but may also expand in the past year.
Kim Jong-un announced in April last year that he would no longer conduct a nuclear test, which prompted him to hold a summit with President Trump in Singapore for the first time in June. But nuclear proliferation analysts point out that North Korea has continued to manufacture missiles and nuclear warheads during the past period. A weapons monitoring group estimated that Kim Jong-un had obtained enough nuclear fissile material to make six new nuclear bombs. As a result, North Korea’s total number of nuclear bombs will exceed 20.
Melissa Hanham, director of satellite data imaging at the One Earth Future Foundation’s public data project, the One Earth Future Foundation, said that there is no clue that the Pyongyang authorities have stopped. Or slowing down the process of nuclear and missile projects, but has entered a new phase.
The recently released reports also pointed out that two suspected uranium enrichment facilities in North Korea continue to operate. In July last year, US Secretary of State Pompeo admitted in the Senate that North Korea is still producing nuclear fissile material.
Other reports revealed that North Korea had also increased its military force before the Sichuan Gold Council last year, and an industrial facility believed to produce the first intercontinental ballistic missiles with a range of up to the United States continued to operate.
The report also pointed out that the Pyongyang authorities have recently expanded the size of a factory, and its use may be to manufacture engines for new solid fuel rockets with better concealment. In addition, Pyongyang has expanded its underground base for long-range missiles.
At the time of the Sichuan Gold Council, which is expected to be held, these reports highlight the risks to the US. Although Trump affirmed Kim Jong-un’s decision to stop weapons testing and abolish several test facilities, these actions did not prevent North Korea from secretly creating weapons that would threaten the United States.
Credit : https://www.cna.com.tw/news/aopl/201901160004.aspx