The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

North Korea seek ‘nuclear nation’ status at ASEAN forum

flag-N-KoreaNK to seek ‘nuclear nation’ status at ARF   Pyongyang’s top diplomat attends ASEAN forum, Korea Times,  By Rachel Lee Ri Yong-ho, 23 July 16 
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho is expected to call on the international community to accept his country as a nuclear state at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Laos, officials here said Sunday……..

The North has stepped up its nuclear weapons program this year. It fired a Hwasong-10 intermediate range ballistic missile on June 22, after carrying out its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 4 and a series of ballistic missile tests afterwards.
This year’s ARF, the region’s largest security gathering, attracted diplomats from 27 countries, including all members of the six-party talks aimed at Pyongyang’s denuclearization as well as the 10 ASEAN-member states……..

“The ARF will discuss some of the very complex issues surrounding terrorism, the South China Sea and North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats after its fourth nuclear test early this year,” Yun said, expressing his will to have the majority of participating countries strictly follow the U.N. Security Council’s latest sanctions on Pyongyang.

On the sidelines of the forum, Yun will hold talks with Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos _ all of which have been friendly with Pyongyang _ as part of his efforts to attract participation in sanctioning the North. High on the agenda will also be the deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery on the Korean Peninsula. …..

July 25, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | 1 Comment

North Korea’s nuclear weapons not able to reach Britain

flag-N-KoreaNorth Korea admits ‘our nuclear weapons aren’t a threat to the UK’, Mirror UK, , 22 JUL 2016, [good pictures and video] 

The rogue state claimed that Theresa May’s comments on the nuclear threat that Kim Jong-un poses were “absolutely astonishing”. North Korea has admitted that its nuclear weapons CAN’T reach the United Kingdom. Pyongyang said that claims made by Theresa May on the threat it poses were “absolutely astonishing”.

A statement from the North Korean foreign ministry said: “It is illogical that the DPRK’s nuclear weapons pose a threat to the UK.

“It is a pity that the UK makes an excuse for the building of [nuclear submarines] by finding fault with the DPRK, thousands [of] kilometres away from it.”

Prime Minister May was making the case for renewing Britain’s Trident missile defence system when she pointed out that the UK must be prepared to act should it come under attack. May added: “We must continually convince any potential aggressors that the benefits of an attack on Britain are far outweighed by their consequences and we cannot afford to relax our guard or rule out further shifts which would put our country in grave danger.”

However North Korea responded: “The DPRK does not regard the UK’s nuclear weapons as a threat to it.

“Therefore, the UK has no need to regard the DPRK’s nukes as a threat to it.”………

July 23, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea Accuses US Of Creating Nuclear War Threat Near Korean Peninsula

 BY VISHAKHA SONAWANE @VISHAKHANS ON 07/05/16 International Business TimesNorth Korea Tuesday criticized the United States for its joint military drills with South Korea held between June 13 and 20. Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), in a commentary, held Washington responsible for nuclear war threat on the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. sent two B-52 Stratofortress, which can be equipped with long-range nuclear air-to-ground missiles, to fly over the skies near South Korea during the exercises with the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force. KCNA said that Japanese planes that took part in the exercises targeting North Korea……

July 6, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | 1 Comment

USA nuclear bombers fly near South Korea

U.S. sends 2 nuclear bombers to fly in skies near S. Korea last month  SEOUL, July 3 (Yonhap) — The United States sent two B-52 nuclear bombers to fly in skies near South Korea last month, military officials said Sunday, a move seen as a display of force against North Korea.

The U.S. strategic bombers from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam conducted flights in skies near the Korean Peninsula and Japan between June 13 and 20, the officials said.

The move was part of the U.S. Air Force’s efforts to check its military capacity in the Asia-Pacific region, they added.

In January the U.S. flew its strategic bunker-busting B-52 bomber across the skies of South Korea in response to North Korea’s fourth nuclear test.

The B-52 Stratofortress, armed with long-range nuclear air-to-ground missiles, conducted a low-level flight over the U.S. Osan Base, some 55 kilometers south of the capital Seoul.

The June flight of the B-52 bombers appeared to be detected by North Korea.

Pyongyang insisted that a formation of B-52s was busy conducting a “nuclear bomb-dropping drill” on June 17.

On June 23, North Korea claimed the successful launch of what it called a Hwasong-10 intermediate range ballistic missile, known as the Musudan missile to other countries, saying that it has the capacity to strike U.S. forces in the Pacific region.

July 6, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea: United Nations human rights report on N.K. this week

U.S. State Department to release human rights report on N.K. this week  WASHINGTON, July 5 (Yonhap) –– The U.S. State Department is expected to submit a report on North Korea’s human rights abuses to Congress this week, and the document is likely to name North Korean leader Kim Jong-un responsible for the situation, a diplomatic source said Tuesday.

Under the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act enacted in February, the State Department is required to submit a specific report on Pyongyang’s human rights abuses within 120 days of enactment. That deadline passed on June 17.

The department is expected to submit the report this week as it is unable to delay any longer, and the report is expected to mention the North’s leader, the source said on condition of anonymity.

The report can be used as a basis for what would be the first-ever U.S. sanctions on the North over the country’s human rights record. News reports have said that the U.S. is expected to blacklist about 10 North Korean officials. Should Kim be included in the report, he is also expected to be blacklisted……..The U.S. has led the U.N. Security Council to adopt the toughest sanctions ever on Pyongyang while enacting its own unilateral sanctions on the communist nation in the wake of the North’s fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch the following month.

Last month, the Treasury Department also designated the North as a “primary money laundering concern,” a powerful sanction designed to cut off the provocative regime from the international banking system for defiantly pursuing nuclear and missile development.

July 6, 2016 Posted by | civil liberties, North Korea | Leave a comment

North Korea reopening plutonium facility?

North Korea Appears To Reopen Plutonium Plant, Nuclear Watchdog Says. Huffington Post,  08/06/2016 VIENNA (Reuters)  The IAEA says the move suggests the country is widening its arms effort.
 – North Korea appears to have reopened a plant to produce plutonium from spent fuel of a reactor central to its atomic weapons drive, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Monday, suggesting the country’s arms effort is widening.

Pyongyang vowed in 2013 to restart all nuclear facilities, including the main reactor at its Yongbyon site that had been shut down and has been at the heart of its weapons program.

It said in September that Yongbyon was operating and that it was working to improve the “quality and quantity” of its nuclear weapons. It has since carried out what is widely believed to have been a nuclear test.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has no access to NorthKorea and mainly monitors its activities by satellite, said last year it had seen signs of a resumption of activity at Yongbyon, including at the main reactor…….

Little is known about the quantities of weapons-grade uranium or plutonium that North Koreapossesses, or its ability to produce either, though plutonium from spent fuel at Yongbyon is widely believed to have been used in its nuclear bombs.

North Korea has come under tightening international pressure over its nuclear weapons program, including tougher U.N. sanctions adopted in March backed by its lone major ally China, following its most recent nuclear test in January…….

June 8, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea: Ballistic missile launch fails for the fourth time in recent months, South Korea says

flag-N-Korea North Korea appears to have tried and failed with a fresh ballistic missile launch in violation of existing UN resolutions, South Korea’s Defence Ministry said.

Key points:

  • The fourth recent attempt to launch the North’s medium-range Musudan missile has failed
  • Japan had readied naval destroyers and anti-ballistic missile batteries, media said
  • G7 leaders demanded last week that the North refrain from provocative action

Seoul said the missile test took place at 6:30am AEST on Tuesday near the eastern port city of Wonsan.

“The attempted missile launch … is believed to have failed,” a ministry spokesman said……..

June 1, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

N.Korea leader Kim vows nuclear restraint

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says his country will not use nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty is infringed by others with nuclear arms and sets a five-year plan to boost the secretive state’s moribund economy. Mana Rabiee reports.  A vow of nuclear restraint from North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. He said his country will fulfill its obligations for nuclear non-proliferation and said it’s willing to normalize ties with nations that have been hostile to Pyongyang in the past.

He made the comments at a rare ruling party congress that’s still underway. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) NORTH KOREAN LEADER, KIM JONG UN, SAYING: “As a responsible nuclear weapons state, our Republic will not use a nuclear weapon unless our sovereignty is encroached upon by any aggressive hostile forces with nukes.” Isolated North Korea is being squeezed by U.N. sanctions over its nuclear weapons and ballistics program, and has frequently threatened to attack South Korea and the United States. But it’s made similar statements before about normalizing relations with South Korea with little progress. Kim also set out a blueprint for a five year economic program, but offered few specifics.

May 9, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

What do we know about North Korea’s nuclear program?

flag-N-KoreaNorth Korea’s nuclear program: What do we know?  Euan McKirdy, CNN 5 May 16 Despite international condemnation, North Korea has ramped up its quest to become a nuclear power, with weapons tests a very visible sign of leader Kim Jong Un’s ambitions.  This year alone has seen at least eight signs of either nuclear tests or delivery methods. Some analysts believe the regime may be gearing up for another nuclear test — its fifth.

How advanced is North Korea’s nuclear program? Each test offers an opportunity to learn from mistakes either in launch capability or the nuclear program.
Joel Wit, a senior fellow at the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, says the regime is pursuing technological developments, both on the nuclear and delivery systems sides.
In terms of developing the nuclear technology, each test gives Pyongyang’s nuclear scientists an opportunity to gain invaluable data that is helping them miniaturize the devices, reduce the amount of nuclear material needed for each bomb, and increase their yield.
They are also developing missiles that can reach targets from South Korea to the U.S., and developing more advanced technology, such as solid fuel rocket engines, larger liquid fuel rockets and submarine-based launches.
The aim, he says, is “first to grow size of nuclear stockpile, and increase the type of delivery systems to ensure second strike capacity.”………..
What are its delivery capabilities?

North Korea’s missile development program began in the 1960s, and by 1971 the country had signed an agreement with China to develop and produce ballistic missiles. It has also partnered with Iran on missile development.
By 1984, according to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, it had developed the Hwasong-5, a homegrown version of the Scud missile.
Since then it has developed or is developing as many as eight delivery vehicles. The submarine-based Bukgeukseong-1, a Polaris-variant, is the latest in development. North Korea is believed to have fired one off the east coast of the Korean peninsula in April.
Its intermediate-range Nodong (also called Rodong) was developed in the late 1980s and successfully test-launched in 1993.
North Korea’s arsenal has weapons which can potentially reach the continental United States. The three-stage, liquid fueled ballistic/space launch missile Kwangmyongsong, also known as the Unha-3 mod or 2 Taepodong-3, has a range of 12,000 km (7,456 miles).
n February, North Korea said it had launched a satellite into space, triggering international condemnation and a strong reaction from an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.
North Korea says the launch is for scientific and “peaceful purposes,” but it is widely viewed by other nations as a front to test a ballistic missile, especially coming on the heels of North Korea’s purported hydrogen bomb test a month earlier.
In March, Pyongyang announced it had miniaturized its nuclear warheads so they could be fitted to ballistic missiles.

May 6, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Embarrassing failure of North Korea’s latest missile launch

North Korea fails to launch Musudan missile, US defence official says, ABC News, 15 Apr 16  North Korea’s attempt to launch what appears to be a medium-range Musudan missile has failed on the birthday of founding leader Kim Il-sung, a high-profile misstep after Pyongyang claimed a series of breakthroughs in its nuclear weapons program.

Key points:

  • North Korea fails to launch what appears to be a Musudan-class missile
  • Launch failure occurred on the birthday of founding leader Kim Il-Sung
  • Musudan missiles are reported to have a range of up to 4,000 kilometres

There had been widespread intelligence reports in recent days that the North was preparing a first-ever flight test of the Musudan, believed to be capable of striking US bases in the Pacific island of Guam.

The US and South Korean militaries both detected and tracked the early morning test.

“We assess that the launch failed,” a US defence official said, adding that it was “presumably” a Musudan.

The April 15 birthday of Kim Il-sung — the grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong-un — is a major public holiday in North Korea, where key political anniversaries are often marked with displays of military muscle.

A Pentagon spokesman described the attempted launch as a catastrophic failure………

Failed launch heightens possibility of further nuclear tests

South Korean officials and international experts said the failed launch heightened the possibility of North Korea conducting another nuclear test, possibly within weeks.

“North Korea is capable of conducting an additional nuclear test at any time if there is a decision by Kim Jong-un,” said a senior South Korean official involved in national security policies involving the North…….

April 16, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia Rejects N.Korea’s Claim to Status of Nuclear Power – Lavrov Moscow rejects Pyongyang’s claim to the status of a nuclear power possessing atomic weapons and means of their delivery.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Moscow recognizes North Korea’s right to develop a peaceful nuclear program, but rejects Pyongyang’s claim to the status of a nuclear power possessing atomic weapons and means of their delivery, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.”We are very concerned about the situation on the Korean Peninsula and we consider it necessary to make all possible efforts to prevent the unwinding of a negative spiral, when actions by one side lead to additional counter-action by another side, making it a ‘vicious circle,’ Lavrov said in an interview with Mongolian, Chinese and Japanese media.

“We, as well as China, reject North Korea’s nuclear-missile ambitions,” Lavrov stressed

April 13, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Video from North Korea depicts Nuclear Strike on Washington

North Korean Propaganda Video Depicts Nuclear Strike on Washington, NYT By CHOE SANG- HUNMARCH 26, 2016 SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea released a propaganda video on Saturday that depicts a nuclear strike on Washington, along with a warning to “American imperialists” not to provoke the North.

The four-minute video clip, titled “Last Chance,” uses computer animation to show what looks like an intercontinental ballistic missile flying through the earth’s atmosphere before slamming into Washington, near what appears to be the Lincoln Memorial. A nuclear explosion follows.

“If the American imperialists provoke us a bit, we will not hesitate to slap them with a pre-emptive nuclear strike,” read the Korean subtitles in the video, which was uploaded to the YouTube channel of D.P.R.K. Today, a North Korean website. “The United States must choose! It’s up to you whether the nation called the United States exists on this planet or not.”

Such remarks are in line with recent threats and assertions from North Korea about its nuclear and missile capabilities………

March 27, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | 1 Comment

North Korea’s ballistic missiles, and claim to have miniaturized nuclear warhead

missile-risingflag-N-KoreaN. Korea launches ballistic missiles, claims miniaturized nuclear warhead As if to seal THAAD deal, ballistic missiles flew 500 miles across Korean peninsula. by  – Mar 19, 2016 

Just over a month after successfully putting a satellite into orbit, the government of the  Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) claimed to have successfully built a miniaturized nuclear warhead capable of being placed on ballistic missiles. As if to add emphasis to that message, North Korea’s military has gone on a missile testing binge.

On March 10, North Korea launched two “Scud” tactical ballistic missiles from North Hwanghae Province, the North Korean border region just north of Seoul, toward the Sea of Japan. Then on March 17, the North Korean military test-launched longer-ranged ballistic missiles from South Pyongan Province, near the Yellow Sea, across the Korean peninsula. The missiles flew 500 miles, again landing in the Sea of Japan. The latest launches took place early on Thursday morning local time, 20 minutes apart, according to a statement from the Republic of Korea (South Korea) joint chiefs of staff.

John Grisafi, director of intelligence for North Korean watchdog site NK Newsbelieves the miss
iles launched Thursday were likely the Rodong-1 missile. “It’s beyond any known Scud variant’s range,” he said.

North Korea built the Rodong-1, introduced in 1990, based on Scud designs obtained from Egypt and China, with modifications to increase its range.

Previous launches of North Korean ballistic missiles have come from the east coast of the country toward the sea. Analysts believe that the cross-country missile launches show that the North Korean military is confident in the reliability of their missile systems.

The launches coincided with the joint US-South Korean military exercise Key Resolve, which ends today. Those exercises were accompanied by a threat from North Korea to launch a nuclear strike on New York City and carry out other attacks on the US mainland as well as threatening to invade South Korea “with an ultra-precision blitzkrieg strike of the Korean style.” The nuclear test earlier this year and North Korea’s continued missile tests led the Republic of Korea’s government to officially request the US deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to South Korea, over China’s objections. Talks on the deployment began March 5. The US military will be in command of THAAD batteries sent to South Korea.

US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said in a prepared statement, “We call again on North Korea to refrain from actions that further raise tensions in the region and focus instead on taking concrete steps toward fulfilling its international commitments and obligations.” He added that the US would continue to “coordinate closely” with South Korea and Japan.

March 19, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Further nuclear tests, threats, from North Korea’s Kim Jong-un

flag-N-KoreaNorth Korea’s Kim Jong-un orders further nuclear tests, threatens to turn US, South Korea ‘into ashes’ North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered further nuclear tests, state media says, adding to military tensions on the Korean peninsula., ABC News 11 Mar 16 

Key points:

  • North Korea orders more nuclear tests
  • Pyongyang talking up nuclear capabilities as US, South Korea hold joint military exercises
  • The North carried out a nuclear test in January

Pyongyang has issued daily warnings and statements talking up its nuclear strike capabilities since US and South Korean forces began joint military exercises on Monday.

In one statement, it threatened to turn Seoul and Washington into “flames and ashes”.

Just days after he was photographed posing in front of what state media described as a miniaturised nuclear warhead, Mr Kim said the weapon required further testing.

Overseeing a ballistic missile launch, Mr Kim ordered “more nuclear explosion tests to estimate the destructive power of the newly produced nuclear warheads”, the North’s official KCNA news agency said.

Experts are divided as to just how far the North may have gone in shrinking warheads to a size capable of fitting on a ballistic missile ……..

March 12, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Kim Jong-un orders nuclear weapons readied for use ‘at any time’

North Korea: flag-N-Korea
Leader reportedly tells military to adopt ‘pre-emptive’ posture after imposition of toughest UN sanctions to date,
Guardian, . 4 Mar 16, North Korea should be ready to use nuclear weapons “at any time” in the face of a growing threat from its enemies, leader Kim Jong-un has decreed in a further escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Kim’s warning, issued via state-controlled media on Friday morning, appeared to be an attempt to put pressure on the international community after the UN security council on Wednesday adopted a raft of new sanctions against the regime in response to its recent nuclear test and rocket launch.

Kim, who was supervising the test-firing of newly developed multiple rocket launchers, said North Korea’s situation had become so perilous that it should have the option of launching a “pre-emptive attack” – a departure from previous claims that the North’s nuclear capability was purely a deterrent.

In an apparent threat to neighbouring South Korea, Kim said the new rocket launchers should be “promptly deployed” along with other new weaponry.

He said the regime’s enemies – notably the US – were threatening North Korea’s survival, the state-controlled KCNA news agency reported……

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China, North Korea’s closest ally, hoped the UN sanctions would be implemented “comprehensively and seriously”, while harm to ordinary North Korean citizens would be avoided…….

While North Korea is believed to possess a small stockpile of nuclear warheads, most experts say the regime has yet to develop the technology to miniaturise them so they can be mounted on a missile……..

March 4, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment


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