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North Korea working to conceal key aspects of its nuclear program, U.S. officials say - The Washington Post
The new intelligence, described by four officials who have seen it or received briefings, is based on material gathered in the weeks since the summit. The officials insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive assessments about a country that has long been one of the most difficult targets for spy agencies to penetrate. Some aspects of the U.S. intelligence were reported Friday by NBC News.

Specifically, the DIA has concluded that North Korean officials are exploring ways to deceive Washington about the number of nuclear warheads and missiles, and the types and numbers of facilities they have, believing that the United States is not aware of the full range of their activities.

Some U.S. intelligence officials have for at least a year believed that the number of warheads is about 65, as reported last year by The Washington Post. But North Korean officials are suggesting that they declare far fewer.

The lone uranium-enrichment facility that has been acknowledged by North Korea is in Yongbyon, 60 miles north of Pyongyang. That site is estimated to have produced fissile material for as many as a couple of dozen warheads.

Meanwhile, the North Koreans also have operated a secret underground uranium enrichment site known as Kangson, which was first reported in May by The Washington Post. That site is believed by most officials to have twice the enrichment capacity of Yongbyon. U.S. intelligence agencies became aware of the nuclear facility in 2010.
14 days ago by toddmundt
How North Korea could go from hermit kingdom to factory hub • Foreign Policy
Elias Groll:
<p>The summit, and the prospect of an end to international economic sanctions, could lead to a flood of foreign capital that could transform North Korea from a hermit kingdom into an economic juggernaut, concludes the study by Samsung Securities.

“If South Korea combines its wealth and industrialization knowhow with North Korea’s human and natural resources, the economies of both nations could make a quantum leap over the long term,” the authors write.

The report offers a nearly 200-page blueprint detailing how foreign capital could revamp North Korea’s battered infrastructure, strengthen its mining sector, and turn a nearly autarkic economy into a manufacturing and logistics hub thanks to its privileged position between some of the world’s biggest economies. The report riffs on the US demand for “complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement” of North Korea’s nuclear program to argue instead for “complete, visible, irreversible prosperity.”

Granted, realizing the report’s vision will require overcoming a formidable list of obstacles, including a wide-ranging sanctions regime against Pyongyang, corporate reluctance to jump into an economy rife with illicit activity, and heavy-handed state control over nearly all aspects of the economy.

Iran’s disappointing bid to attract foreign investment after winning its own sanctions relief in 2016 as part of the nuclear deal is a case in point, said Jonathan Schanzer, a sanctions expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a hawkish Washington think tank.</p>

North Korea has an advantage over Iran: it's right next door to a gigantic manufacturing power. But does Kim Jong-un really want to give up his dictatorial grip? The benefits for everyone would be great. I'm hopeful, though not optimistic.
15 days ago by charlesarthur
North Korea is rapidly upgrading nuclear site despite summit vow • WSJ
Jonathan Cheng:
<p>North Korea is upgrading its nuclear research center at a rapid pace, new satellite imagery analysis suggests, despite Pyongyang’s commitment to denuclearization at a summit with the US this month.

The <a href="">analysis from 38 North</a>, a North Korea-focused website published by the Stimson Center in Washington, found that Pyongyang, in recent weeks, appears to have modified the cooling system of its plutonium-production reactor and erected a new building near the cooling tower. New construction could also be observed at the site’s experimental light-water reactor, the report said.

The satellite pictures, captured on June 21, nine days after the Singapore summit meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, showed no immediate effort to begin denuclearization at North Korea’s key nuclear research site.</p>

Oh well, we tried. Still, at least they've given up that nuclear site that collapsed. Um.
northkorea  nuclear 
18 days ago by charlesarthur

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