DPRK admits to enriching uranium

For the last several years there has been intense debate among “North Korea watchers” over whether the DPRK was enriching uranium.  Strong cases were made on both sides of the debate, but if we are to believe the North Koreans, the debate is over.  According to the Associated Press:

After repudiating negotiations on dismantling its plutonium-based nuclear program, North Korea admitted this month to having an even more worrying way to make bombs.

Following nearly seven years of adamant denials, North Korea announced it can enrich uranium – a simpler method of building nuclear weapons than reprocessing plutonium. Uranium can be enriched in relatively inconspicuous factories that can better evade spy-satellite detection, and uranium bombs may work without test explosions.

The admission – made in a threatening response to a June 12 U.N. Security Council resolution punishing Pyongyang for an underground plutonium bomb test last month – poses a new challenge to the U.S., China, South Korea, Russia and Japan as they seek to stem the reclusive country’s atomic ambitions.

Read more here:
Uranium gives NKorea second way to make bombs
Associated Press (via the Washington Post)
Kwang-tae Kim
6/28/2009

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  • EmperorAtahualpa

    I would like to read the original statement made by North Korea. Does anyone know where to find it?

    (BTW, I would bet this is another bluff, just like the many they’ve done before)

  • Yes there certainly strategic reasons for announcing this program whether it exists or not…

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  • Who ever

    I’ve seen the KCNA news bulletins (from June) saying they where going to advance in the field of uranium enrichment “for fuel for their planed light water-reactor” or some bogus reason like that. But that only suggests that they only got a very basic understanding. Not that they have completed the knowledge and science or have the capability today for commercial scale production. Needless to say it all depends on how much the Pakistanis have shared, their NK missiles are even nuclear weapons carriers there. But even sharing information on that they still only got missiles with range below ICBM range.

    I’ve never seen any plants or places pointed out as proposed U E facilities. So if they exist at a functional stage they are indeed secret. I also wonder where the proposed light-water reactor will be built and on which designs it will be based. It seems like a massive project to take on for them. Would be much better if they could just strike a deal where the world markets would be opened up for them. However they need to open up too. But the point is the world can’t punish someone without anything to loose. Until they understand that the situation will not change. There where no legitimate business to strangle really and the illegitimate just get a push to expand. I don’t think they can hinder NK from exporting weapons for example I know that they have sent some of the weapons to Pakistan by air. Their scuds that is. And light arms go to Africa every day by air from all over the world. So I would expect to see more shocking announcements from them and them trying to do more large projects to help their isolated economy.


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