N. Korea may be producing crucial nuclear parts: U.S. experts
North Korea may already be producing crucial nuclear parts on its own inside its isolated country.
This is according a report released on Monday by American nuclear experts Joshua Pollack and Scott Kemp based on analysis of North Korean documents and media reports.
Based on their study, the two found it highly likely that the North obtained the technology to produce the essential components of gas centrifuges to process uranium for making nuclear bombs, no later than 2009.
If so, Pollack said it will be even more difficult to stop North Korea from expanding its program through foreign shopping expeditions and that policies based on export controls, sanctions and interdiction will not gain much traction.
The report is in line with a number of signs that Pyongyang is activating or even expanding its nuclear production facilities, undermining years of global efforts to end its nuclear program.
Last month, a Washington-based think tank cited satellite images in a report that said the North appears to have doubled the size of its uranium enrichment plant at Yongbyon.
This raised concerns about a possible expansion of North Korea's enrichment capabilities, which was backed by further evidence this month when satellite photographs showing steam emerging from the Yongbyon reactor were released.
With such progress in North Korea's nuclear capabilities, Pollack suggests that the best option for now may be to prevent further North Korean rocket launches and nuclear tests rather than to ban its uranium enrichment program altogether.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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