Nuclear proliferation feels good
In a report on the North Korea monitoring
website, 38 North, Jeffrey Lewis said recent satellite imagery showed
that in the past year North Korea had begun to refurbish a major uranium
mill in Pyongsan, a county in the southern part of the country.
renovation suggests that North Korea is preparing to expand the
production of uranium from a nearby mine," Lewis, director of the East
Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International
Studies, said in the report.
"One possibility is that North Korea will enrich the uranium to expand its stockpile of nuclear weapons," Lewis said.
possibility was that the uranium would be used for production of fuel
for an Experimental Light Water Reactor under construction at its
Yongbon nuclear research facility and future light-water reactors based
on that model, Lewis added.
Lewis said Pyongsan
was believed to be the most important uranium mine in North Korea and
recent satellite imagery indicated that the Uranium Concentration Plant
there was undergoing significant refurbishment.
2013, most of the buildings have received new roofs," he said. "Other
buildings appear to have been gutted and are now in the process of being
rebuilt with new roofing."
significant investment in refurbishing the mill suggests that North
Korea is expecting to process significant amounts of uranium, either
from the Pyongsan mine or other uranium mines."
North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests, the last in February 2013, and now calls itself a nuclear weapons state.
has said it is not interested in a dialogue with the United States like
that which led to a deal over Iran's nuclear program and says its
nuclear capabilities are an "essential deterrence" against hostile U.S.
What could go wrong?
Labels: Iranian nuclear threat, North Korea, nuclear weapons, uranium enrichment