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Satellite images indicate that North Korea has more bomb material than previously thought

North Korea may have more nuclear bomb material than thought: U.S. think tank, David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick WASHINGTON (Reuters) JULY 14, 2017 – Thermal images of North Korea’s main nuclear site show Pyongyang may have reprocessed more plutonium than previously thought that can be used to enlarge its nuclear weapons stockpile, a U.S. think tank said on Friday.

The analysis by 38 North, a Washington-based North Korean monitoring project, was based on satellite images of the radiochemical laboratory at the Yongbyon nuclear plant from September until the end of June, amid rising international concerns over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

The think tank said images of the uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon could also indicate operation of centrifuges that could be used to increase North Korea’s stock of enriched uranium, its other source of bomb fuel.

There were signs too of at least short-term activity at North Korea’s Experimental Light Water Reactor that could be cause for concern, 38 North said.

The images of the radiochemical laboratory showed there had been at least two reprocessing cycles not previously known aimed at producing “an undetermined amount of plutonium that can further increase North Korea’s nuclear weapons stockpile,” something that would worry U.S. officials who see Pyongyang as one of the world’s top security threats.

It was unclear if the thermal activity detected at the uranium plant was the result of centrifuge operations or maintenance………

Experts at 38 North estimated in April that North Korea could have as many as 20 nuclear bombs and could produce one more more each month. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-nuclear-exclusive-idUSKBN19Z1EN

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July 15, 2017 - Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war

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