North Korea may have built 12 nuclear bombs since the first Trump-Kim summit last year, according to recent reports from intelligence analysts

Kevin Lim/THE STRAITS TIMESPresident Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
  • North Korea may have expanded its nuclear arsenal with 12 more bombs since President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un first met at a Singapore summit last year.
  • The Wall Street Journal first reported that intelligence analysts are concluding that the secretive state is accelerating its production of long-range missiles and fissile material, both key components in making nuclear weapons.
  • The revelation comes after North Korea unveiled a new submarine that could launch nuclear weapons and fired two short-range missiles off its coast, flouting a UN ban on such testing.
  • Up to now, Trump has defended his negotiations with the North Korean leader, saying they have been a success because the country has not engaged in serious missile testing.
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North Korea may have expanded its nuclear arsenal with 12 more bombs since President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un first met at a Singapore summit last year.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that intelligence analysts have concluded that the secretive state is accelerating its production of long-range missiles and fissile material, both key components in making nuclear weapons.

Analysts have pored over satellite imagery to discover the movement of shipping containers and trucks at crucial weapons facilities in the northern part of the country, according to The Wall Street Journal. These same analysts estimate Pyongyang now has between 20 and 60 nuclear weapons.

The reports come after North Korea recently fired two short-range missiles off its coast, flouting a UN ban on such testing. The hermit kingdom has also unveiled a new submarine with possible nuclear-launch capabilities.


Read more:
Close analysis of Kim Jong Un’s new nuclear-missile submarine reveals it’s bound for a suicide mission

Up to now, Trump has defended his ongoing negotiations with the North Korean leader, saying they have been a success because the country has not engaged in serious missile testing. Kim “promised he wouldn’t be testing” nuclear weapons, Trump said in an interview last month with ABC News.


Read more:
North Korea’s latest missile test was an attempt to get Trump’s attention after failed nuclear talks, experts say

The discoveries have been publicly met with shrugs by Trump administration officials so far. In an interview with Fox News, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked about North Korea’s new submarine and whether its unveiling could set back future negotiations over its nuclear program.

Pompeo responded, “I went to a defence facility. We all go look at our militaries, and we all take pictures of them.”

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