North Korea Will Soon Have the Makings for 20 Nukes

It's producing 330 pounds of enriched uranium per year: report
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2016 8:47 AM CDT
North Korea Will Soon Have the Makings for 20 Nukes
North Koreans watch a news report regarding a nuclear test in Pyongyang on Friday.   (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)

If it doesn't already, North Korea will have the makings for 20 nuclear bombs by the end of the year, experts predict in a new report. The country is believed to be producing 330 pounds of highly enriched uranium per year at one or two sites—enough for six nuclear bombs—and likely has 70 to 120 pounds of plutonium, a Johns Hopkins University report published Monday reads, per Reuters. Experts add that North Korea's uranium enrichment program has been around since at least 2003 and will likely carry on with little interruption from sanctions. Nonetheless, South Korea's foreign minister has called for tougher sanctions and pressure on the North in the wake of its biggest nuclear test yet, per CNN.

China could deliver the harshest sanctions in stopping the movement of fuel and oil into the North, but Pyongyang appears unconcerned. "The US imperialists are going reckless, taken aback by the DPRK's successful nuclear test," state-run media said Wednesday, per NBC News, after US B-1B bombers and F-16s flew over the Korean Peninsula with South Korean jets on Monday. "They are bluffing that B-1Bs are enough for fighting an all-out nuclear war." Meanwhile, the North Korean government has made a public plea for help, claiming 133 people are dead, 395 are missing, and "tens of thousands" are homeless as a result of flooding from Typhoon Lionrock, reports CNN. (More North Korea stories.)

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