June 02, 2008

North Korea Details Size of Plutonium Stockpile

In documents recently delivered to the United States, North Korea indicated that it has produced 37 kilograms of plutonium, the New York Times reported Saturday.

Pyongyang had previously said it had produced 30 kilograms while U.S. intelligence agencies put the amount between 40 and 50 kilograms. Varying estimates have found that North Korea could produce between six and 10 nuclear weapons with its plutonium; it tested one weapon in October 2006.

U.S. officials are not yet accepting the latest figures, contained in more than 18,000 pages of documents submitted as a prelude to the regime’s declaration of its atomic activities and holdings. State Department officials said they would need several weeks to examine all the documents. [via Nuclear Threat Initiative]

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