UN report: North Korea pressing on with its nuclear program

Reports by experts says North Korea is pressing on with nuclear weapons program and has “probably developed miniaturized nuclear devices”.

Elad Benari ,

Kim Il-Sung Square, Pyongyang North Korea
Kim Il-Sung Square, Pyongyang North Korea
iStock

North Korea is pressing on with its nuclear weapons program and several countries believe it has “probably developed miniaturized nuclear devices to fit into the warheads of its ballistic missiles,” according to a confidential UN report seen by the Reuters news agency on Monday.

The report by an independent panel of experts monitoring UN sanctions said the countries, which it did not identify, believed North Korea’s past six nuclear tests had likely helped it develop miniaturized nuclear devices. Pyongyang has not conducted a nuclear test since September 2017.

The interim report was submitted to the 15-member UN Security Council North Korea sanctions committee on Monday, according to Reuters.

“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is continuing its nuclear program, including the production of highly enriched uranium and construction of an experimental light water reactor. A Member State assessed that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is continuing production of nuclear weapons,” the report said.

North Korea’s mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the UN report.

The report comes days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said there would be no more war as the country’s nuclear weapons guarantee its safety and future.

The UN report said one country, which it did not identify, assessed that North Korea “may seek to further develop miniaturization in order to allow incorporation of technological improvements such as penetration aid packages or, potentially, to develop multiple warhead systems.”

Talks between the US and North Korea aimed at dismantling North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs in exchange for sanctions relief have stalled in the past year.

Kim and US President Donald Trump met in Hanoi last year for a summit that left nuclear talks at a standstill. The pair had met three times since June 2018 but made little progress towards denuclearization.

Since those talks broke down, North Korea has conducted several tests of ballistic missiles.

Kim’s sister recently said another summit with the United States would only be useful for Washington at this point, but added that her country had no intention of “threatening the US”.

The UN experts said North Korea is violating sanctions, including “through illicit maritime exports of coal, though it suspended these temporarily between late January and early March 2020” due to the coronavirus pandemic.



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