Kim Jong Un wants North Korea to make more nuclear material for bombs

SEOUL: Leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un has called on its nuclear scientists to ramp up production of weapons-grade materials to build bombs to equip its increasingly diverse weapons.
The report in state media on Tuesday followed a series of missile launches – seven launches this month alone – and increased threats to use weapons against his enemies.
North Koreaweapons tests and US-Korea military The exercises have intensified in a cycle of tit-for-tat, underscoring rising tensions in the region.
Officials say North Korea could push further in the coming weeks or months with more provocative displays of its military nuclear program, which could include the first test of a nuclear device. first since September 2017.
North Korea’s Central News Agency said Needle during a meeting Monday with officials and scientists at the state nuclear weapons institute stressed the need to ramp up production of bomb fuel to meet its goal of expanding its nuclear arsenal. “exponentially” and presents unspecified “critical missions” to its nuclear industry.
Kim also reviewed the country’s established nuclear counterattack plans as scientists briefed him on North Korea’s latest nuclear-capable weapon systems and advances in mounting technology. nuclear warheads on missiles, the agency said.
The agency’s photos showed Kim talking to officials inside a hall displaying what appeared to be various warheads – including about 10 khaki blue pellets with red tips and others look like black and white cones with large fins or torpedoes .
A poster on the wall near one of the blue devices depicts the warhead as “Hwasan-31”, based on the Korean word for volcano, and implies that it can be inserted into several systems. North Korea’s short-range ballistic and cruise missile systems. State media did not identify any of the devices in the photo.
After six nuclear tests since 2006, North Korea may have dozens of warheads that can be mounted on some of its older systems, such as Scud or the Rodong rocket.
However, there are divergent assessments of how far North Korea has come in miniaturizing and building those warheads so that they can fit into the many new weapons it is developing at a rapid pace. rapidly in recent years, which may require further technological upgrades or nuclear tests.
A biennial South Korean defense document released in February said North Korea has an estimated 70 kilograms (154 pounds) of weapons-grade plutonium, which some observers say is enough for about nine- 18 bombs. The document estimates that North Korea also has a “significant amount” of highly enriched uranium.
North Korea’s main nuclear complex at Yongbyon has facilities for the production of both plutonium and highly enriched uranium, the two main bomb fuels used to make nuclear weapons. North Korea is believed to be operating at least one more secret uranium enrichment facility, in addition to the one at the Yongbyon complex.
In separate reports, KCNA said North Korea once again detonated dummy warheads during tests of a nuclear-capable missile and an underwater attack drone this week. . The reports come a day after neighboring militaries detected North Korea firing two short-range ballistic missiles toward waters off its east coast.
Monday’s launch came hours before a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and its battle group engaged in joint training with South Korean warships in waters near Jeju Island, in a display show off the ally’s latest strength in the face of growing North Korean threats. The USS Nimitz and other warships docked at the South Korean port of Busan on Tuesday.
KCNA said the missiles tested on Monday were armed with dummy nuclear warheads, which detonated as intended at an altitude of 500 meters (16.40 feet) above their sea target. The agency said a front-line unit fired the missile as part of an exercise to familiarize the military with carrying out nuclear strike orders.
North Korea earlier said a number of ballistic and cruise missile tests this month involved dummy nuclear warheads that were detonated above their targets, announcing it could control altitude above the ground. to maximize the potential damage of the explosion.
KCNA also said North Korea this week conducted another test of an underwater nuclear strike drone capable of causing a “radioactive tsunami” to destroy naval ships and enemy port. North Korea did not indicate it was looking for such a capability before announcing last week that an earlier test conducted under similar conditions had been successful.
However, analysts doubt whether such a device is a meaningful new threat, and South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday that they believe the claims of North Korea about this weapon may be “exaggerated or fabricated”.
However, the drone underscores Mr Kim’s commitment to pushing for the expansion of his nuclear arsenal as he seeks to force the US to accept North Korea as a legitimate nuclear power and negotiate. economic concessions from a position of strength.
North Korea has experienced a record year of weapons testing, launching more than 70 missiles by 2022. The country has enacted an escalation nuclear doctrine that allows for a pre-emptive nuclear strike in a range of situations. situation in which it may consider its leadership role threatened.


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