North Korea could have doubled its stockpile of nuclear weapons in the last 18 months, a US research institute has claimed.
Kim Jong-un may have added six or more weapons by significantly expanding the Stalinist nation’s nuclear weapons production, according to the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).
The theory is based on an analysis of the country’s production of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium recovered from spent nuclear fuel.
North Korea had an estimated 10 to 16 nuclear weapons at the end of 2014.
In revised estimates contained in a report provided to Reuters, the institute’s David Albright and Serena Kelleher-Vergantini said North Korea may have added another four to six weapons since then, for a total of 13 to 21 or even more today.
The report said the 13 to 21 estimate did not take into account the possible production of additional highly enriched uranium at a second centrifuge plant thought to exist in North Korea.