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First U.N. report on N. Korea’s miniaturization of nuclear warheads

First U.N. report on N. Korea’s miniaturization of nuclear warheads

Posted August. 05, 2020 07:48,   

Updated August. 05, 2020 07:48


The United Nations published a report for the first time that North Korea might have completed the development of nuclear weapons miniaturized enough to be mounted on ballistic missiles.

Reuters reported that an independent panel of experts monitoring U.N. sanctions against North Korea submitted the interim report to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee on Monday (local time). According to the report, multiple unidentified countries said North Korea’s past six nuclear tests had likely helped it develop miniaturized nuclear devices.

“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. It added 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.”

If indeed North Korea has succeeded the miniaturization of nuclear weapons, the country would be considered to have overcome major hurdles in the development of nuclear weapon systems as it could launch long-range missiles targeting the U.S., etc.

“North Korea’s miniaturization capabilities of nuclear weapons seem to have reached a significant level,” Moon Hong-sik, the deputy spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense, said on the report during a regular briefing on Tuesday. “However, the South Korean government does not recognize the North as a nuclear state.”

Kyu-Jin Shin newjin@donga.com