NORTH Korea could be developing more nuclear bombs at one of its controversial war factories, disturbing satellite images show.
The aerial images show movement at the rogue state’s main Yongbyon nuclear site which may indicate the processing of radioactive material into fuel for nukes.
The satellite images show rail cars at the nuclear site moving – a potential sign Kim’s regime is making nukes[/caption]
Any renewed development of nuclear material would signal a defiant two fingered salute by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to Donald Trump.
The US President and the unhinged despot failed to reach an agreement on the denuclearisation of the crackpot country at their summit in Vietnam in February.
Washington’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies said that satellite imagery of the nuclear site from April 12 showed five specialised rail cars near its Uranium Enrichment Facility and Radiochemistry Laboratory.
It said their movement could indicate the transfer of radioactive material.
“In the past, these specialised rail cars appear to have been associated with the movement of radioactive material or reprocessing campaigns,” the think tank’s report said.
“The current activity, along with their configurations, does not rule out their possible involvement in such activity, either before or after a reprocessing campaign.”
The US State Department declined to comment on intelligence matters, but a source familiar with its assessments said that while experts thought the movements could possibly be related to reprocessing, they were doubtful it was significant nuclear activity.
Jenny Town, a North Korea expert at the Stimson Centre think tank, said that if reprocessing was taking place, it would be a significant given US-North Korean talks in the past year.
She said: “Because there wasn’t an agreement with North Korea on Yongbyon, it would be interesting timing if they were to have started something so quickly after Hanoi.”
Trump has met Kim twice in the past year to try to persuade him to abandon a nuclear weapons programme that threatens the United States and its allies South Korea and Japan.
Any development of nuclear materials would be a slap in the face to Donald Trump who has twice tried and failed to get Kim Jong-un to completely disarm his nuclear arsenal[/caption]
North Korea test-fires new 'short-range' weapon
- On April 17, it emerged that North Korea test-fired a new tactical guided weapon with a “powerful warhead” – threatening to renew feverish tensions with the West.
- In a brazen taunt, Kim watched the firing of the weapon on Wednesday at North Korea’s Academy of Defence Science.
- And issuing a chilling warning, Kim said the test “serves as an event of very weighty significance in increasing the combat power of the People’s Army,” state media reported.
- Precise details of the weapon have not been released – but it is said to have a “peculiar mode of guiding flight”, state media added.
- “Tactical” implies it is a short-range weapon, as opposed to the long-range ballistic missiles that have been seen as a threat to the United States.
But aside from Kim refraining from carrying out missile tests, progress on denuclearisation has been scant.
The Hanoi talks collapsed after Trump proposed a “big deal” in which sanctions on North Korea would be lifted if it handed over all its nuclear weapons and fissile material to the United States.
He rejected partial denuclearisation steps offered by Kim, which included an offer to dismantle Yongbyon.
Although Kim has maintained a freeze in missile and nuclear tests since 2017, US officials say North Korea has continued to produce fissile material that can be processed for use in bombs.
Last month, a senior North Korean official warned that Kim might rethink the test freeze unless Washington made concessions.
Last week, Kim said the Hanoi breakdown raised the risks of reviving tensions, adding that he was only interested in meeting Trump again if the United States came with the right attitude.
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Kim said he would wait “till the end of this year” for the US to decide to be more flexible.
A study by Stanford University’s Centre for International Security and Cooperation released ahead of the Hanoi summit said North Korea had continued to produce bomb fuel in 2018.
They also said Kim’s regime may have produced enough rocket fuel in the past year to add as many as seven nuclear weapons to its arsenal.
Experts have estimated the size of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal at anywhere between 20 and 60 warheads.
Kim had offered to dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear site at the Vietnam summit[/caption]
Renewed activity at the war factory could signal the development of radioactive material into bomb fuel[/caption]
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