N. Korea has nuclear weapons in possession: U.S. official
U.S. deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, on his way to attend the UN General Assembly on Monday told reporters that North Korea already possesses nuclear weapons. Rhodes pointed out that unlike Iran, Pyongyang has already developed nuclear arms and conducted tests.
Because of this, he said it may be easier to handle Iran than North Korea.
The senior U.S. official said there are similarities between Pyongyang and Tehran in that both nations have not abided by international nonproliferation norms.
Meanwhile, two U.S. experts on nuclear weapons Joshua Pollack and Scott Kemp say North Korea has obtained technology to produce crucial components of gas centrifuges to process uranium for making nuclear bombs.
They said it could become more difficult to verify regime's nuclear facilities because uranium enrichment facilities are easier to conceal than large reactors used in making plutonium-based bombs.
Also in a flurry of North Korea-related developments, recent satellite imagery shows North Korea may have conducted a long-range rocket engine test late last month at its Dongchang-ri launch site, off the North's west coast.
38 North, a website devoted to analysis of North Korea said Monday that it had compared two satellite images which appeared to show a probable rocket stage, a crane to mount and remove the rocket engine and monitoring instruments.
Dongchang-ri was where Pyongyang launched its Unha-3 long-range rocket last December.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Deputy Spokesperson for the National Security Council told Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency that Washington stands firm on its stance that it will never recognize North Korea as a nuclear weapons state.
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